I write this suffering the frustration of a broken fibula as a result of getting crushed loading bulls. Despite being careful, it can go wrong so quickly.
Not being able to do the planned activities with Daniel of fishing and camping during the last of his school holidays, plus getting behind on those summer jobs, has played havoc with my sanity.
The conventional cows have returned to well in excess of 1.80kg milk-solids a cow a day. The organic farm is still struggling at about the 1.6kg mark, mainly due to feed quality. For the first time in 20 years our supplier is unable to provide us with our winter hay for the home farm. The decision has been made to replace this with grass silage plus plant an area of annual ryegrasses at higher cost.
Serious thought is going into how to best structure the farms to cope with the now regular droughts. Our thinking is to maintain a low stocking rate and to convert up to 30% of our traditional ryegrass pastures into herbs and large-leaved clovers. Hopefully, the first paddock will be drilled this week on the organic farm.
We have done scenarios again on organics versus conventional farming on the organic property, especially as we are likely to lose the support block. Under a range of milk prices and production there is very little profit difference between the two systems but that is providing we can lift pasture use under organics. To this end we are going to start pushing the organic stocking rate up slightly.
On the industry front, the milk price is now in excess of $7/kg milk-solid with a chance of upside. Cow prices have lifted by about $500 a cow to more than $2,000.
Pricing for next season is looking good.
Farmer Focus Livestock: George Moss