Home' Otago Southland Farmer : May 17th 2013 Contents 12
Low levels of calcium can affect milksolids
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with only 30% of calcium
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Gypsy Day Advertising Feature
New farms and new opportunities on Gypsy Day
June 1 - the time when
traditionally, it's all
change on the New
Zealand dairy scene.
This is the date when dairy farmers, from
workers through to sharemilkers and
managers take to the roads en route to
their new farm and new opportunities on the
In short it is Gypsy Week, but in today's
climate, it is fast becoming known as Gypsy
Month with the annual migration becoming
much more complex in recent years, as the
dairying boom increases.
Because dairy employment contracts go from
June 1 to May 31, this is the time of the year
when literally hundreds of sharemilkers, dairy
workers and managers change jobs and
homes at what is the end of the season.
This is all readily accepted as part of an annual
farm changeover. With many dairy farmers
moving stock around, possibly to a new
location, but in some cases, to winter grazing,
it also places demand on transport
operators and consequently spreads
out the time factor for all involved
Minimising waste spillage on local
roads for those moving stock is an
integral factor associated with this time
of the year and draws seasonal
warnings from local and regional
councils as they remind everyone
involved in transferring stock to make
sure animals are prepared properly
before cartage. Animal waste spillage
from cartage trucks causes unnecess-
ary mess for other road users, and can
create dangers for motorists, especially
at this time of year when stock movements
are intensified. Waterways could also
deteriorate if effluent is washed into them
Expectations are that farmers should stand
stock overnight before transporting them,
and truckies should avoid overflow from their
effluent storage tanks en route, ensure their
effluent storage tanks are emptied before
each load and regularly use stock truck
effluent disposal sites en route. Trucks should
also NOT be overfilled
For journeys of up to two hours, it's best to
stand stock off feed for eight to 12 hours and
withhold water. While for journeys of over two
hours, farmers should gradually introduce
drier feed into the diet two to three days
before transport, provide water up to
departure and again stand cows for eight to
12 hours before transport.
Farmers also need to ensure that all stock is fit
for travel, such as being able to bear weight
on all four limbs and in good condition to
withstand the rigours of transport.
If cows are to be walked to their new farm,
farmers need to check with their local council
to see if a permit is needed.
It is also worth checking with other farmers to
coordinate movements to prevent herds from
getting mixed up.
People driving in rural areas need to be more
vigilant over this time and be aware that there
may be a larger than usual number of stock
on the road or in stock trucks.
If stock is encountered on the road then it is
important to be patient and not to startle
The dairy boom has also had another effect in
boosting some rural populations, especially in
the South Island and once again, Gypsy Week
movements bring disruption to the com-
While movement is a basic fact of dairying life,
it's worth noting that it can have a disruptive
effect on rural communities, be it the one
being left or the one being joined. A local
primary or secondary school could see a roll
change of 20 or 30 per cent as newcomers
arrive and others depart.
Nowadays, there is a growing trend for
dairying parents to try and move within their
school catchment area --- if in fact they don't
stay put on a new agreement.
Sharemilkers also need to ensure that if they
are going onto a Fonterra shareholder's farm,
they have discussed the milk price/dividend
payment structure with the shareholder.
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