Looking back at the season – John van der Goes

It seems like only yesterday that I sat down to write my last blog. Maybe it was, as I took a long time to get it down.

Since then it feels like not much has happened however I think it may be time for a bit of reflection on what has happened so far this season and what worked for us and what didn’t. This will give me an idea of what to do next season.

As we used fodder beet this season I found that we didn’t need the amount of silage each day that we used to. This has meant that we had to close the silage pit down because we weren’t getting through the face fast enough so it would turn mouldy. I brought home round bales from the runoff to use instead. This has made me decide to bale all my silage next season so I can have more options. It also means that I can cut when the grass is at the right stage rather than having to wait to have enough for the loader wagons. Hopefully this will mean better quality silage. It also will remove the need to replace our aging feed out wagon – a cost that we don’t need at this time. Also bales will be easier to allocate feed and easier for our relief staff to use.

JVG feeder wagon

As part of the Matamata-Piako Dairy Push we have had our first meeting with our consultant. This is concentrating on strategic planning and not cows and grass. Dairy Push has three points of focus: People, Profit and Planet. It tries to get farmers to improve their performance in these areas which means better returns for the farmer and a better environment for everyone to enjoy. As part of this we also have joined DairyBase. This has given us the ability to compare our results with others and highlight areas where we can improve. Having had our first consult I can already see areas we need to improve on and which should be quite easy to change and get good results from. Hopefully this will keep us focused on the right things to do for the rest of this season and next. The process has already given me a lift and a drive to get on and improve.

I have been looking back at the previous year’s average pasture cover graphs to see how this year has compared with the rest – I thought I would add them in for interest sake, also to show off my newly acquired computer skills.

JVG pasture cover

As we are just about to leave to go on holiday the last week or so have been busy getting things ready for our relief staff to take over. Hope you all are getting the nice rain we have been getting the last couple of days.

1 Comment

Leave a reply