Be careful what you say! – John van der Goes

JVG sunset Oct18

It’s high time I sat down and wrote a blog. Since the weather is not so good I thought it may be a good time to write and put off going outside.

It feels like nothing much has happened since the last blog. It seems like I’m on the go all day and barely get the basics done. Not sure if it’s an age thing or not. Having said that, our last spring has gone quite smoothly. No cows to calve apart from a couple that I checked to see all was ok and decided to help since they were so close. Only two cows with milk fever and four or five cases of mastitis. Which was due to crap weather when we dried off and having to stand them on the yard too soon. I only have a handful of cows left to calve now and I’ll be able to say I won’t have to do that again. Seems to be said quite regularly.

I’m just starting to get the crop paddocks ready for planting. I was in two minds about whether to plant less area this year or not but have decided to do the same as last year.

I have decided that after all my talking about cleaning up our pastures, particularly buttercup, I had better get started. So this spring I’ve sprayed just about every paddock with 2,4-D Amine and flumetsulam. The results look really good. Nice not having a sea of yellow flowers.

JVG pasture Oct18

It seems that spring is under way properly now with grass growth taking off and milk production moving along nicely. I was a bit disappointed at first with our per cow production but realised that nearly half the herd is two and three year olds so doing over two solids a day was not too bad. This was the result of last year’s culling program to set the herd up to be sold. There are only five cows over eight years old.

We have tried metrichecking the cows this year because we should get a couple of extra cows in calf which means they can be sold for a bit more.

We are in the final stages of getting things organised for next season. I asked the neighbours if they would like to lease our place but they declined. So we are now looking at either leasing it as a dairy farm or as a dry stock block. We have people interested in both. We have tried to see what costs will be involved in both and what we may need to do going forward. So now we just need to decide.

I had an interesting experience a couple of weeks ago when the incident officers from the regional council showed up to see the work I did on the bend in the stream (that I talked about in my last blog). Talking to them I found out that someone had seen the post and filed a complaint about it and they had to come and check it out. The next day people from the area office came to look and said the concrete needed to come out. The thing they seemed most upset about was that I hadn’t notified them that I was doing it. Two years ago when they planted the trees along the banks I talked to the person in charge and got the impression it was ok.

I think the lesson from this is that people and regulations change so quickly that we need to check before we do anything. It also shows that maybe we have to be quite careful about what we say and post because you never know who is reading them. Hopefully a lesson learnt! I have just received a formal warning from regional council and this should be the end of it, apart from remedial work.

Looking forward it’s time for a break to recharge a bit before mating starts. Not half looking forward to it.

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