December has arrived, along with all its craziness with end of year things to attend. We are off to a flying start and up for the worst parent awards, where we are in the lead at the moment, by completely missing the violin recital :(. On another note, the boat has been in the water many times, as any spare minute when the sun is shining the kids want to go skiing. The boat also had a spell in the Coromandel waters; Frostie and two friends got their limit in an hour and ¼ – he could have taken the school aged children and they would have been back in time for school!
On the farm we have enjoyed some nice bits of rain over the last 2 weeks, which is helping keep the drought away for the moment, and the pasture growth is ticking along quite well. There is a feeling, though, that summer is not far away and with milk prices not great the rest of the season continues to look like quite a challenge!
On the farm
There are currently 345 cows on farm – all grazing 2 paddocks/day (3 ha/day = 20.5 day round). The cows are getting 7 kg/cow/day of meal and ½ kg/cow/day of molasses. The production to date is 75,793 kg MS, compared with 71,998 kg MS at the same time last season. Current production is 8.2 – 8.8 kg MS/ha/day and 1.8 – 1.85 kg MS/cow/day. Cow condition is 4.2 – 4.3.
Average pasture cover is 2,315 kg DM/ha, with a target of 2,400 – 2,500 kg DM/ha in late December.
We pregnancy tested the heifers on the 1st December. We were unsure what to expect as we chose to only PG synchronize the heifers, do 5 days of AB, and then put the bulls out. Fifty percent of the heifers are in calf to AB, and there are 8 out 112 to recheck in the future. This result is a little disappointing, but these are the risks you take when you are trying to save money in this financial environment. We will pregnancy test the cows in mid-end December, we are not sure what to expect as we have done no intervention – a bit of a worry.
The maize is jumping out of the ground with the last lot of rain – 16 ha have been sown, 2 paddocks (4 ha) in an early variety, 11 ha in longer maturing Corson seed and 1ha of Pioneer longer maturing seed to compare!
64 bales of silage have been made at the runoff with nothing else shut up at the moment – although the same area could be shut up again soon!
Sorry there is no photo of the fish, but from here until Christmas Frostie’s plan is to go fishing at least once a week! And for the rain to continue to fall from the sky! We are not sure that both of these things go hand-in-hand, but will give anything a go.