[6 October/ Stuff]

The lack of sun is suppressing the mating instincts of dairy cows, and ManawatÅ«/RangitÄ«kei farmers expect fertility levels will be lower than normal. Farmers have found fewer than usual cows are cycling because of cool and cloudy weather. Cow fertility levels were discussed between 45 farmers and some rural professionals during a Foxton group dairy discussion day at Simon Easton’s farm. Mr Easton said rain had affected people and animals with only two-thirds of his cow’s cycling. Mr Easton said numbers would typically be higher at this stage. He hoped more cows would be cycling by October 19, one week after the typical mating start time. Mr Easton said he lost five cows through theileria and calving issues.