It’s certainly been a good month for a number of reasons. A round length of 30 days along with some hot days and a couple of overnight rain events have meant cover has lifted, almost to the point of having some quality issues. However, a couple of light crops of baleage were made, and along with a bit of topping, this has kept the farm in a healthy state as far as feed cover goes.
The chicory and bettagraze sorghum planted on the river flats are thriving, and as for the maize, wow, I can’t believe the rate of growth in the last few weeks.
All this growth means that the weeds are also appearing daily, more evident as the cows leave the paddock as the grass isn’t hiding them anymore! A few minutes zipping around the paddock on the 4 wheeler (or should I say driving carefully with helmet on head) and spot spraying these offenders soon takes care of this problem. I guess this time of year is pretty relaxed for most of us, so spraying a few weeds daily takes away the boredom of sitting by the pool all day watching the maize grow!!
Bernard has been having some time away for R & R, so I’ve been holding the fort and running the show until he gets back. A first for me was having the AI technician come on Christmas morning to inseminate a return with short gestation semen.
We put up another 15 cows (7.5%) to short gestation bulls in weeks 9-12, which means that our calving will be 10.5 weeks long with only a couple calving in the last week. This is satisfactory for us and hopefully means our empty rate should be low. So far I have only seen one cow bulling since we finished mating 12 days ago. Could just be that I’m in holiday mode (not looking hard enough)!! I hope not, but time will tell. If there are any empties I’m sure Bernard will find them when he starts again as he will be so refreshed and keen from his break…..
I had the bank manager out the other day to go over our projected cash flow and budget going forward. Cost control has been paramount this season and is vital in a lower payout year. But what do you do when the effluent pump packs up?
First the pump end needed rebuilding, then three weeks later the motor packed up. So now we have a new pump, at a cost of several thousand dollars. How do you cut this cost? If it needs fixing, you just have to do it! I did suggest to Bernard that he goes ahead and buys a slurry tanker for his next job, and spreads our effluent that way, you know, give that new tractor of his a bit of a run as well….He wasn’t keen though, don’t think he wanted to get his tractor dirty!! Then the farm water pump wasn’t pumping up to pressure so…..you guessed it! Another four figure unbudgeted spend. Good thing I kept those Christmas presents to a minimum, at least Bev has good pressure when she waters her garden, I’m sure she is thankful for the new pump too!!
Going forward, we are looking forward to managing the summer as best we can come what may. We have plenty of feed on hand at the moment, but this may well change. However, our feed reserves are good, the cows are milking on a par with last year and cow condition is excellent. Hopefully we get a good result when VetFocus scan our cows and heifers shortly. Roll on the cricket world cup, hot days by the pool, wet nights and no nuisance flies! Hmmm, time will tell!!