7 February 2000
Survival tactics — New Zealand experience

IF you can still afford the bullet, then you are still getting well paid (Dairy calves, 05 January, 2000).

We hit unwanted newborns on the head with a hammer. Not nice, but cheap and, our vet says, very humane.

The carcass goes to a pelt factory; we get about 2 clear for each, so at least its something.

Here in New Zealand in 1984 we overnight had farm profit destroyed. I guess about 90% of us survived, even with heavy debt .

We cut costs – no new machinery, reusing what we could and thinking outside the square.

We hated utting back on labour (easier for us than you as we have no tied cottages) but believe me, working smarter comes after the anger dies.

We personally are worse off than in 1984, but we are still here. Our machinery is old but well-maintained.

We turn every cent over twice before spending and life is OK. We also kept in close contact with the farmers best friend – his banker. That helps, too.

If you want answers to any specific queries, contact us. Weve stayed on several UK farms and have employed some fine young men and women from the UK, too, so have a fair idea of your miseries.

Weve survived them. You can too.

We have no government support at all, and really dont think its a good idea.

Regards from a Kiwi dairy farmer.

  • Annette Gunther, Invercargill, New Zealand
    Email: SPRING.TERRACE.FARM@xtra.co.nz