SIZE OF FARMS: There are many different sizes of farms in the Waiwhare district. They range from four or five hundred acres to several thousand acres.
Some farmers may have more land than another because the soil may be poorer and it may not be possible to graze as many sheep to the acre as richer soil would.
A farmer with good rich soil and grass could get about four or five sheep to the acre whereas a farmer with poorer soil may only get two or three to the acre. Diane Ward
GRASS: The main types or [of] grass are rye and white clover. Sometimes red clover Is sown but it can dry out. Cocksfoot, crested dog and subterranean clover are also grown.
Paddocks which are to be sown are ploughed or disced about November and again in January. After this the grass is sown and the farmer hopes for a nice fall of rain to start the grass off. The rye sprouts first and then the clover. The clover does not grow as tall as the rye for it is a good cover and grows along the ground. Red clover is grown because it is a quick grower and can be grazed before the other grass is ready. Cows and cattle beasts are good for new grass. Belinda Hoy.
FARM BUILDINGS AND IMPLEMENTS: Nearly all farms have a woolshed, other farm buildings and a shearers’ quarters. The shearers’ quarters have several bedrooms, kitchen toilets and bathrooms. Most farms have implement sheds and some have storage for hay.
Implements are used widely on farms, some for cultivating, some top dressing, boring, grading and sowing. Tractors are of two basic types, the wheel tractor and the crawler tractor. The wheel tractor has two sets of wheels, the back large and the front small. The crawler type has no real wheels but rides on tracks like a tank.
Many farms have land rovers for farm work and in some cases motor bikes and motor scooters are used on farms instead of horses. All farms require implements of some kind. Belinda Hoy and Roger Tough.
FENCING: When fencing is done it is necessary to get a supply of battens, posts, staples and wire. There are seven wires on a fence. The two top wires are usually barbed and the others plain. Most people today use concrete posts. There are nine battens between a post and a standard halfway between the nine battens.
Most people around Waiwhare employ a fencer to do their fencing which can be a very hard and tiring job. There are many miles of fence on most farms. Wayne Moult
TOP DRESSING: The planes usually used for aerial top dressing are Cessnas, Pipers, Fletchers and DC3s. The super phosphate is sprayed onto the ground out of a hatch on the bottom of the plane.
The planes take off from a small grass runway. It can cost a farmer up to £500 per day for to have a farm top dressed. Some people prefer a top dressing truck but it is not so convenient on hills.
Super Phosphate makes the cover grow and the clover helps the other grasses to grow so that more stock can be carried.
Several firms top dress over the Hawke’s Bay. John Richards and Jeremy Smith
CONTROL OF PESTS: The main animal pests are rabbits, opossums, deer an[d] pigs. Rabbits can cause a lot of trouble to the farmer. They eat the grass and can cause erosion. Rabbiters are employed in each district [to] keep the rabbits down. There are two rabbiters in this district and they shoot and poison rabbits.
Opossums do a lot of damage to trees and they can eat a large amount of fruit. They are marsupials like the kangaroo. They are mostly seen at night. There are many opossums in the Waiwhare area.
Deer and pigs are found in the Waiwhare District. On many farms deer can be found. They also cause soil erosion if they are not controlled. Grant Richards and John Comrie
SHEEP: The sheep most people breed are Romney, Southdowns and Dorset Downs are bred for fat lambs. Depending on the cultivation of the farm between two and five sheep per acre can be carried.