I was asked the other day how my grass situation was on the farm here. Well I have loads still despite the drought we're having here in Northland. The shock there was not surprising. The only reason I have any at all is because I cut down on my stock. Glad I did. River's calf has to go shortly as he is starting to realise he is indeed a little bull. Lucky for him he's got some cows waiting for him further south on a family friend's farm.
Ocean and River are both of course still feeding their calves but the time is rapidly approaching for weaning. I don't think it's very fair for these two to be having to feed their babies and be expected to cope with this prolonged drought we've been having. If I said I wasn't worried my nose by now would be looking like Pinnochio's.
When you live in the city you take water for granted. You turn on the tap and water comes out of it. Try relying on a water tank for your water supply - and you won't be growling about your local water authority nagging at you to conserve water over a dry summer. Nope you end up being your own water authority and making your own restrictions. You have to or you end up paying a fortune for a fill up in the water tank. So far I haven't had to do that - but if rain doesn't come soon I'll be ringing up the water guy and getting 22,00 litres of water put into our tank.
We're recycling as much water as possible and using it to water the trees. I've had to cut right down on the water use otherwise we will be in trouble and end up with nothing at all. In farming the weather means everything. A prolonged drought means for those farming as a living that their income and livelihood is literally on the line. Dairy herds in Northland are now being dried off. Pasture growth is at zero and the moisture levels in the soil are now non-existent. It's bad really bad. Hopefully we'll get rain and soon.
You can tell I was having a silly moment with my camera. I had moved the cows and the old man onto a new break feed. I don't have to go down and get them either. I just call Come on! then watch the stampede of spoilt pet cows and little toads called calves head straight for the new green stuff. The old man at nearly 30 likes to take his time making his way up - I'm never in a hurry anyway. I hadn't had much time to spend lately just going and talking to the Terrorist. She is now 18 months old and is still not much bigger than a 6 month old Fresian calf. River's calf is as big as she is and he is barely 6 months!
Anyway I took all these silly photos just for the heck of it and decided to upload them. I even took photos of our dry stream bed, the rapidly drying up fishpond and a photo of one of the gold fish we rescued the other day that is now swimming around with the others in what used to be a trough for our cows and at one stage was someone's bath. Not anymore it's now a goldfish rescue centre. It's been hot, horrible and dry and everyone's temper's are getting frayed over this endless drought. It's on everyone's minds and many of my farmer friends are wondering how the heck they're going to pay their bills for the coming year. Not good. The local meat works will be working over time killing off the stock that can no longer be carried due the lack of pasture growth. Feed costs a fortune and with grass shortages demand increases and so does the price - so the excess stock has to be culled out. That's the reality of the decisions that have to be made.
Terry's 150 acre run off block across the road from my farm is as dry as a bone. Not one blade of green grass to be seen anywhere. The photos are near the bottom. The hills are all brown from the El Nino weather patterns we're experiencing at the moment - but that is part of the cylce of nature. We just have to learn to work with what we have. People get through hard times and bounce back. All I get is a tiny jersey Terrorist still calling me Mum.LOL. So have a chuckle, smile a lot if you're one of those stuck in a drought bad weather at the moment. Just think of the funnier times like I do when things get a little tough. I just remember that these three cows I have here all at one stage have been in my kitchen when they were still small calves looking for that bottle - or stealing my loaf of bread. Hope everyone is happy and well no matter where you are in the world - it's better to smile than to frown when things get a little hard. I think I need to draw another silly cartoon of myself just for a chuckle. Hope you like the photos silly as they are - I was having a silly moment. It's my birthday today so I can get away with it. And I'm now 46 if anyone is wondering...I don't feel a day over 20....oh my aching back....