Last month I wrote about the joys of getting to November and being over the big rush on the farm, with calving, mating and cropping being behind us, leading to a much more carefree and relaxed period in the farming calendar. I also wrote of summer coming, and swimming and bbqs looming. Hmmm, as I sit here in my cosy little office I think it’s safe to say that summer is still coming as it seems quite cold again this morning and my feet seem a few degrees above frozen! The new bbq hasn’t been put to the test yet, and the pool has had all the frogs and the dead hedgehogs removed but hasn’t had any white bodies of all shapes and sizes plunging in to date! As to the rush on the farm being over…..well yeah, maybe so, but we seem to replace one rush with another. It always bemuses me that while we are in November things are relaxed and there’s no rush to get too much done because it’s not December yet. Then suddenly, December turns up and “oh my gosh”! All you hear on the radio is Jingle Bells and Snoopy’s Christmas, “only so many more sleeps till Christmas”, and “have you done your Christmas shopping yet?” and suddenly you do the maths and somehow you got it wrong and all that you had planned to do before the big day isn’t gonna fit!! To top it off, every second email you get is from someone wanting something done by yesterday, blog included!! Welcome to December!!
However, in saying that, things are looking pretty positive at the moment. After a sustained period of low income, I’m certainly looking forward to a bit more money going into the bank this coming 20th. This is certainly the start of getting the bank balance “righter” again (if there is such a word!). Recent rain has been great, the cows aren’t suffering from heat stress yet and I attended a SMASH facial eczema presentation last week so now have all the tools to make sure we prevent this scourge from decimating our herd this coming summer. The no till maize is growing well, I can’t see any weeds on the farm, the cows are doing better on a daily basis than last year (finally!), and Sam is whistling as he works, thankfully he hasn’t broken into song yet! He is feeling a bit chirpy no doubt as Christmas is coming for him as well, which includes time away to visit his girlfriend’s family down south.
On a sadder note, Mr and Mr Piggy have succumbed to the rapid growth they sustained from vast amounts of mastitis milk, leftover lemon meringue pie, soft tomatoes, and other bits and pieces of food which ended up in the piggy trough after somehow missing the probing eye of the one remaining young’un we have at home as he searched for his next snack. Bigger fools them I say, they were the authors of their own demise. I just missed a call from the butcher, caller id indicated that it was him ringing, no doubt wanting to find out what choice cuts of bacon, ham, pork steaks or chops we would like to adorn our Christmas dinner table with. I didn’t bother to answer as the one who will be serving this delicious meal is still dreaming of a white Christmas, or something similar!
Our young stock are looking good, the calves have grown so well and the heifers look a picture. I am heading up there shortly to meet the vet for the second lepto vaccination plus monthly drench. I had the pleasure of moving them daily while the grazier was away and enjoyed the chance to watch them grow, getting the best tucker on the farm with the heifers following about 10 days behind. The cows are happy, mating is all but over with the bulls gone and just short gestation AI happening again, probably until the day that Sam goes away for Christmas. It always seems to work out this way, it’s just the right date to stop doing AI again, with the moon, stars, planets, air pressure and evapotranspiration, coupled with my lack of enthusiasm, all lining up to indicate that any cow that cycles from there on in is destined for the same place as Mr and Mr Piggy!
Gotta go, we have the discussion group here today. As I mentioned earlier, it seemed like December was a long way off and the discussion group at our place would be a nice, relaxing way to spend a day, 12 days out from Christmas. Pressure’s on, has Sam got the cows in the right paddock?? We all have a discussion group paddock don’t we??? Did he scrub the walls?? Hide the sick cow in the gully? Get the milk dockets out of sight?? Ensure the effluent’s not ponding?? No, seriously, discussion group is a great way to get locals together to share and learn. Looking forward to having an informative day with maybe a cold beer and a bbq afterwards. So here goes, the first big chance to use the new bbq! Yay! Crikey, I need to fill the gas bottle!!