Kind summer – John van der Goes

The summer has been very kind to us. Regular rain and warm days created spring like conditions. At one stage we had a rotation length of 24 days and five paddocks shut up for silage. We cut three to get 64 bales of silage. We baled a bit early, so it was not quite dry enough, but the weather was threatening. The quality was a bit unknown because it was mainly summer grass, but we are feeding it out now and it doesn’t seem too bad.

Production has almost flat-lined and we have made inroads on the deficit on last year’s production. In the last couple of weeks we have fallen behind again which is mainly due to cow numbers. This year a neighbour asked to buy our old, quiet, empty cows to rear calves on. They are paying good money so it seems worthwhile. Also gives some good old cows a longer life.

I have now slowed the round down, started feeding more fodder beet and started grass silage to keep feed levels the same for the cows. This is to make up for the paddocks affected by undersowing and regrassing.

I have spent quite a bit of time killing weeds, mainly Californian thistle, but also some pennyroyal. The good growth has allowed me to boom spray these weeds in an attempt to improve our pastures. Also spent a fair amount of time on the tractor planting grass seed. Both new grass and undersowing into older pasture. This year I have switched to using a tine drill for undersowing as it seems to make a better seed bed and opens up to allow more seed to germinate. I’m planting when the grass is longer and then grazing when the seedlings are young to open up and allow them more light to grow.

JVG weeds Apr18.jpg

JVG resowing Apr18.jpg

We seem to be flat out at this time of the year with everything on the farm and trying to fit in things we want to do. So far it seems like only the farm things are getting done. At least our timing is better this year and seed is getting planted on time. We are hoping to avoid last year’s mistakes and have all our paddocks able to be grazed this winter.

We have nearly finished the bathroom renovation. Just some trims to paint and put in and the bath to paint and lights which still need to be chosen. Since the floor needed to be redone we thought that we would do the living area and kitchen at the same time. Looks stunning. I hope to have it finished in the next two weeks and then on to the next house project.

JVG floors Apr18

I need to start setting aside time for biking again as I have not been able to get on it for the last two months. The body is starting to show the effects of lack of exercise. Fishing is just a distant dream at this stage but hopefully will be put to rights in April as it is usually a good time for fishing. It hasn’t been helped by my decision to go back on stage. I always forget the time involved in rehearsals etc.

Hope all is well with you guys.

JVG cow helmet Apr18

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