The sun is shining, daylight saving is here, Winston is keeping us guessing, and Sam is now happily married to Alice! Plus, I had a birthday, Bev had a birthday, growth rates are well over 60-70 kg/ha/day, Mr Pig is almost ready to go, and our Fonterra loan is partly repaid!
Welcome to my mid-October blog, which I am writing on this sunny Saturday afternoon, even though I should be milking the cows. As luck would have it, middle daughter Hayley enjoys milking and offered to complete the task for me so that I could put a few words to paper. Good on her I say, one out of three ain’t bad, as Meatloaf would say.
As I mentioned earlier, Sam and Alice got married a week or so ago, and are still away on honeymoon. Young fellows these days, I dunno, if it’s not bad enough getting married when it’s mating time on the farm, they have weddings on Fridays these days too! I thought Saturdays were for weddings…oh well what’s another work day off?? Then they asked for the weekend off AND a week for a honeymoon as well! Lucky for me that middle daughter can step in when needed, and lucky for Sam that I agreed to all this time off! Can’t wait till he’s back, imagine the amount of work we’ll be getting done after he’s had such a break…
The continuous rain we have been experiencing over the past six months or so seems to be easing somewhat. Thank goodness for that! However, the ground is so waterlogged that any rain we get turns everything boggy again in no time. The saving grace has been the warm air and soil temperatures which have kept growth rates reasonable. Utilisation has been the issue for all of us, with treading damage likely to cause an ongoing effect this season with more weedy pastures and less grass available. However, the forecast looks promising going forward and some fine days will soon put the horrors of the relentless wet behind us.
Our cows are cycling well, not that Sam knows mind you, as he is on honeymoon as mentioned previously…. we are hitting above our target numbers for AI daily, and I’m led to believe from talking to other farmers that this seems to be case this year?? In our case, we have fed more maize and PKE than usual to date, trying to minimise pasture damage and keep intakes up to where they need to be. This has helped keep cow condition good and I’m sure it will have a positive effect on in-calf rates. We metrichecked the whole herd as per usual and found 8% that needed treating. How does this compare to others?? The teaser bull is working flat out but needs a break every few days owing to the high workload!! I am really looking forward to the time when we PD the heifers to find out the in-calf rates to our CIDR programme.
I called the helicopter in the other day to put some spring fert on. I did think we could do it with the groundspread guys once it dried out a bit more, but when I got stuck in a gateway the other day on the quad, I thought to myself that I may be dreaming! Plus, I would have had to go around and open the gates, as Sam is away on honeymoon….did I already mention that?? So, I called big Al and it was done in no time! I need to catch up with him though to see how many paddocks he got done, as I have realised now that you can’t tell by the wheel marks……
The maize paddocks have been sprayed out, we are planning to plant with no-tillage again this year. Eighty percent of the calves are weaned and gone, up the road at Phil’s place where they are living in paradise, eating lush grass, and getting copious amounts of meal as they go through the transition to all grass feeding. Oh, I almost forgot, I need to mention my Shogun paddocks. I think I said back in July that we had open, weedy pastures, so we did quite a bit of undersowing with Shogun. The results have been great, we are very impressed and looking forward to seeing how long it sticks around. I was on another farm the other day and the guy showed me his four year old paddock of Shogun. It looked very impressive I must say.
That’s pretty much it for now, I better go and check that there’s a cold beer in the fridge for my competent and able relief milking middle daughter. Did I mention that she’s milking because Sam is away on honeymoon….??
I’ll catch you all next month, where I’ll share some of Sam’s stories from his honeymoon, if he’s back that is!!