The conventional farm has about 50% of the herd calved with a planned start of 1 August and the organic farm about 25% calved with a planned start of 10 August. Each year we get more calves ahead of our planned start due to the gestation length of the bulls.
Ground conditions are marginal at best and temperatures have alternated between extremely cold to pleasant. Grass is becoming tight across both units and the area generally as a result of the wet followed by hard frosts.
I am now full-time on the organic farm as the new manager has gone. My absence has added a lot of pressure on the conventional unit. It is the calvings and metabolic cows that pressurise the day. Normally, I float between both units doing anything that is required to keep things effective and timely. We have hired a recruiting firm to select staff and they are likely to be more objective than myself, as I can be too charitable.
Cow condition on the organic unit is excellent to an extreme – the stock are close to too fat. The initial milk production for every cow at home is in excess of 2kg milk-solids a cow and somatic cells are between 40,000 and 55,000 which is our best ever so far. No milk has been sent yet off the organic unit.
The New Zealand dollar is scarily high against the greenback and can only bode negatively for the milk price.
Sleep is now gold to us all, good night.
Livestock Farmer Focus: George Moss