Cows on both farms are producing about 1.5kgs milk-solids – disappointing given the herds are well fed. Most farmers in the district are frustrated by lack of performance.


Growth’s slowed with the drop in soil temperature but soil moisture is adequate. Urea has been applied to the conventional farm with good response. The organic farm is on par with last season and the conventional farm is 5% behind.

Cull cow values are up $200 on last season and there are contracts for next season’s weaned Holstein heifer calves at $700 – top price.

We have also under sown six hectares on the conventional farm with tetraploid annuals, clover and plantain. This area is prone to drying out and we hope to boost winter growth with annual ryegrass and summer growth with clovers and plantain.

As a member of the Rural Support Trust, I and others are spending time assisting farming families in distress. This results from three year’s climatically poor seasons and high levels of debt. The trust has access to advisors, counsellors, and a wealth of experience. It’s effective as it’s farmers assisting farmers.

Financiers often ease off when the trust becomes involved as they take comfort knowing a plan will be developed. It always grieves me to see the trauma families endure as their business, life and sometimes relationships flounder. By creating a plan a we get some good outcomes allowing families to move forward.