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Words by Dr Rob Derrick – Head of Farmlands Product Development


Cow collars and ear tags have allowed many dairy farmers to manage by exception, focusing their limited resources on the few animals whose metrics are outside the norm. 


To a lesser degree, the ability to mob sheep according to their needs gives sheep farmers some flexibility to also manage by exception. Having the ability to feed according to need increases the potential to fine-tune management for mobs or even individual sheep. The NRM sheep range has been extended over recent years to reflect the different needs of sheep according to their stage of life, pasture supply and level of production.

With tailored options for lambing, tupping and drought, don’t be afraid to ask your TFO or store for something out of season if it specifically meets your needs. As mill owners, Farmlands has the capacity and commitment to produce what our customers require when they need it.

Even when flock numbers increase it’s possible to manage by exception. This means monitoring body condition and managing accordingly, to boost weight gain or fertility. By-and-large, sheep are good convertors of New Zealand pasture, but supplementary feed offers a buffer against unpredictable weather and another level of nutrition which can be targeted at those that need it the most.



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If body condition is slipping or if some weight gain is required, NRM Sheep Nuts are a useful high grain- based feed which is typically fed at up to 150g/head/day. If a drought really takes hold, NRM Summer Dry Nuts can be fed at higher rates and deliver more protein to help balance more mature conserved forages, which may have to be fed alongside limited grazing. As a 10mm nut, they are well suited to being fed on the ground with minimal waste.

NRM Sheep Pre-Tup Nuts are – as the name suggests – designed for feeding to ewes and rams four to six weeks before and during tupping (mating). If the weather or irrigation obliges by providing good quality pasture before mating they may not be necessary but if pasture quality or supply is sub-optimal, or if ewes need an extra lift after a hard period, they are well worth considering at least for the most needy within a flock. NRM Sheep Pre-Tup Nuts contain elevated trace mineral and vitamin levels to help minimise the risk of deficiencies that might impact on health and fertility at this important time.