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‘Wembly Farm’, Derek and Sue Marr

Location: Otaio.

Farm size & type: 240 ha. Intensive lamb finishing.

Topography: Typical South Canterbury rolling downs with a coastal aspect.

Rainfall: 650 mm/yr.

Climate: Drought prone.

Soil type: n/a.

Fertiliser regime: n/a.

Soil fertility
Plot pH Ca P K S(SO4) OS Mg Na
(a) Old ryegrass and browntop 5.7 6 21 6 25 13 27 11
(b) New ryegrass 5.4 7 18 5 17 5 30 8

Stock numbers: n/a.

Carrying capacity: n/a.

Plot descriptions: (a) Old ryegrass and browntop. (b) New ryegrass.

Detailed description: To combat the possibility of drought, Derek and Anne have a contingency plan that involves bringing lambing forward four weeks. All ewes are mated to Suffolk sires and all ewes are Poll Dorset-Border-Romney crosses.

The Marrs finish all lambs on summer forages and make silage to feed out during times of drought.

Farmer's comments: "I'm a big fan of monitoring and have a special interest in trialing new grass species and seeing how they perform. But I'm concerned there is little data available in our area. Ultimately PasturePlan should help our whole farm operation.

"The Waimate District Council has helped set up a weather station on the farm to collect data, which is being shared with the PasturePlan project." (Derek Marr)

Results published: Canterbury Farming

Local Meat & Wool Innovation contact: Alan Marshall, tel 03-325 6911, cell 025-329 399, alan.marshall@mwi.co.nz


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