Well, the Sunday TVNZ show was disgusting: the way the media/SAFE have portrayed all of us in our industry as animal abusers. I have a few points to make about this:
- WE ARE NOT ALL LIKE THIS!! What was shown is 1% of the industry, and as far as I’m concerned they need to piss off out of our industry (that also goes for the livestock transport and meat processing industry)!
- I think the industry body, along with MPI, needs to be more vigilant in stomping out this sort of behaviour in the industries. We already all pay enough levies for this to happen without additional cost to the industry.
- The media have breached broadcasting standards and should take responsibility and be held accountable.
- And, most importantly, our industry needs to stand united regardless of the company we supply. I also think that the other dairy companies need to make a stand rather than letting Fonterra front it all.
Mating has gone well. We had a 93% submission rate and the bulls are now out doing their part, they will be out till the 18th December, giving us a 9.5 week mating. This year we have run nine bulls in groups of three and we rotate them every second day (bull power is a key factor to getting late cows in calf).
This year we have planted 10 ha of maize and 7 ha of brassicas (4ha HT rape and 3ha HT turnips). These crops are all doing well and have just had their nitrogen application. I let our Farmsource and PGGWrightson reps check these regularly and try to follow best practice in terms of their management.
We had been irrigating between rain events till about mid-November, but now that things have turned windy and dry it’s a full time job, at least until the next big rain event, or river flows cut us off.
The cows are still on OAD and we have decided to do that till the end of the season. Currently we are on track to get to our production target of 100,000 kgMS, at this stage because of the low payout and the cost of shares we will be limiting our production to this.
My new hobby
I have always wanted to have a go at beekeeping, so recently I decided to purchase my first hive. So far I have only been stung once but I think there will be plenty more to come.
I’m finding it very interesting, fascinating and exciting. I am wondering if I should diversify and go into a small scale commercial beekeeping operation within my 65 ha bush block. I would like to hear your thoughts on this one!!
We are having a SMASH field day here on March 9th so put it in your calendars.
More details about this will be in my next blog, so stay tuned!