Farmer Focus: Welcome rain makes the grass grow greener

The summer rains arrived late, only at the end of October. But when they came, there was a good soft 55mm on the first day, which was followed by soft rain on a further three occasions.

So far we have been spared the heavy thunder storms, which normally heralds the summer season, but I am sure they will come sooner or later.

The swallows also arrived late from their long journey from Europe. They make their nests in the rocky outcrops on the farm. It is always such a pleasure to see them sweeping across the fields.

See also: Fields, fires and redwater

It is remarkable how everything changes for the better after the first rains. Almost overnight the fields go from a yellow-grey to green.

Milk production has increased significantly, more than anticipated, and demand for our products still cannot be met. We are only able to meet about 60% of the butter orders we get, despite having increased our production significantly in the past four months.

When things are improving and one is doing better, one must not hesitate to enjoy it and celebrate it while it lasts. There is no sense in waiting too long, because setbacks are a part of life and bound to happen sooner or later.

“When things are improving and one is doing better, one must not hesitate to enjoy it and celebrate it while it lasts. There is no sense in waiting too long, because setbacks are a part of life and bound to happen sooner or later.”
Danie Schutte

I celebrated by hiking across the southern tip of Africa with my son, Johannes. It is something I wanted to do for a long time, but never had the opportunity until now.

We started from a farm called Brandfontein and walked east on white sand beaches stretching for miles with massive sand dunes on our left and the calls of whales playing in the morning sea on our right.

The rest of the 15 mile route was along very rocky and inhospitable coastline, which has been known as the graveyard of the sea because of numerous ships that have, over the years, found their grave in the turbulent seas off that particular stretch.

We walked past the southernmost point of Africa and ended at L’Agulhas, the southernmost town in Africa. It was a very memorable experience.

Danie Schutte is an organic Ayrshire dairy farmer who also processes dairy products on his 90ha farm near Pretoria, South Africa.

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