October/November 2010

It’s been longer than I intended since my last blog so a lot to catch up on…  It seems summer has landed on us with loads of sun and temperatures already in the 20′s.

 Grass cover on the farm  has been good until recently where unusually dry conditions have seen a slight drop – hopefully this is temporary and some rain will return so we do not get another extremely dry drought summer as we had last year – it never hurts to think positively anyway!  There are a few clouds about as I write this – the first we’ve seen in few weeks so fingers crossed.   

 However, a great time to visit us if you like beautiful sunny days and clear starry skies – if you live in a city or even in town you will not have realised just how amazing the night sky is out here with no man-made light to dim the appearance of the stars.  Even after growing up partitially in a rural setting I still marvel at how bright our stars are at night here. 

Some of our scenery

People are starting to trickle back to our local beaches now as well – there are a lot of them within a short drive from us – whether you prefer the untouched natural beauty of an unurbanised beach or the convenience of urbanised beaches with handy ice-cream stores. 

One of my favourite places on Waitapu is the top hill overlooking the coast and the Hen and Chicken Islands – I have made it our picnic spot as such a spectacular view deserves to be shared I think!  One of the activities here is a 4WD tour of the farm finishing with a picnic lunch, which is well worth visiting us on its own.

It's a hard life being a dairy cow..

On a more technical note we are milking 831 cows at present, which are all in very good condition post calving.  We have 417 at shed 1 and a further 414 at shed 2.  A successful mating period is just coming to an end now with the bulls visiting “our girls” to finish off.  We also have 180 calves looking very happy and healthy from this seasons calving. 

Our irrigators that serve the pasture for shed 2 are up and running to ensure the cows continue to have enough grass through the dry months ahead.

To help feed all these animals, we need the extra feed of maize and turnips.  40ha of maize has been sown and 17ha of turnips.  A further lot of silage has just been cut in the last couple days.

This will ensure happy healthy cows throughout summer.

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