Your online orders cannot currently be placed through your PGW Customer Account Web login. Please contact our online support team for more information.

Farm technical tips for May: Agronomy, animal health and nutrition

Farm technical tips for May: Agronomy, animal health and nutrition

Farm technical tips for May: Agronomy, animal health and nutrition


» Walk established pasture for weeds. Use more robust sprays, where possible, to control perennial weeds without damaging clover significantly.

» Monitor new pastures for weeds and spray when timing allows. Most selective herbicides are clover safe when two trifoliate leaves are visible.

» Check new pastures pass the pull test before the first graze.

» Spray new pasture with 2,4-D, if required, after the first graze and top up with nitrogen (N).

» Select the correct seeding rate for autumn or winter planted cereals. Apply a pre-emergence herbicide within 48 hours of sowing.

» Start thinking about N and sulphur options for the spring to boost early growth.

» Protect soils from pugging damage by grazing wet paddocks early before the soil moisture gets too high.

» Soil test crop paddocks as early as possible. Early paddock selection of spring sown fodder crops allows you to identify lime requirements and apply well before sowing.



» New Zealand has four species of cattle lice: one biting which feeds on skin debris and three sucking lice which feed on blood or tissue fluid.

» Lice are host-specific so they only live and breed on cattle. They can’t fly or jump and do not live long off cattle in the environment so require animal-to-animal direct contact to spread.

» Lice populations on cattle build in the cooler months of autumn and winter and cause skin irritation and rubbing. When high in numbers, they can cause ill thrift, particularly in young growing stock.

» The eggs attach to hair fibres and are not affected by treatment. Animals, therefore, need to be treated twice.

» Poor nutrition or body condition of animals is often associated with higher lice numbers.

» Young stock often have higher numbers than adult cattle.

» Pour-on treatments are used to manage lice populations in cattle. Synthetic pyrethroids, Blaze® or Delmax®, offer good control and aid in managing nuisance flies in lactating cows.

» Organophosphate-based products, such as Destruct®, can be used in dry cows.

» Mectin-based pour-ons such as Cydectin®, moxidectin or abamectin products, have label claims for lice and can help manage populations. Use abamectin products in dairy cows at dry off due to milk withholds.



» Trace minerals are important for animal health, production and reproduction.

» May is a good time to assess trace mineral levels. Talk with your veterinarian about testing your herd.

» Copper (Cu) – The lowest levels are over the winter months. Ingestion of soil on winter crops, molybdenum and sulphur (S) all contribute to a reduction in Cu absorption.

» Liver Cu levels are the best way to determine the Cu status of the herd.

» Iodine (I) – Brassica crops contain goitrogens that can reduce the effectiveness of I. Higher I supplementation is recommended when grazing brassica crops. Iodine has an important role in thyroid hormones, the growing calf and metabolism.

» Selenium (Se) is an important antioxidant. Demand may increase due to oxidative stress. Some crops are low in Se and have high S levels. In brassicas, this may interfere with Se uptake.

» Ensure cobalt and zinc requirements are being met.

» Consider extended feed tests to assess trace minerals in the diet and tailor supplementation to the herd.

» There are many ways to supplement trace minerals including in feed, water dosing, mineral lick blocks, loose lick blends and injectable products.