Things were chugging along OK until recently. The rain came just in time and the grass kept growing.
In my farming career, I have found plenty of elephant traps on farms, often the hard way.
Have we just created one generation of rich dairy investors and to hell with the future?
My "day off" is a Tuesday afternoon when I get a relief milker in. A reliable relief milker is hard to find and I believe one with all the skills is worth paying well.
OPINION: Thanks mother nature, it's a pleasure working with you - when the weather is fine.
I've been given a gift worth its weight in gold and then some.
Here's a yarn that will raise the hairs on the back of your neck (especially if you work for ACC).
Instead of being applauded as a food producer he was branded an environmental criminal.
Dealing with high stress levels is a challenge, particularly in the spring time, and when farming on your own the ability to handle the pressure is important.
It was only a fluke that I even noticed poor old 63 stuck in the piggery but lucky for her something caught my eye and I discovered her predicament.
Farmers have admitted how stressful random overhead inspections of effluent systems are.
Halfway through calving and there is a bit of a lull. This is a catch-22 situation because although the break allows me to catch up on a few jobs and even get a bit of rest, the bank balance demands a compact calving.
My days pass in a blur of milking, cleaning up, calf rearing, feeding out, sorting out calved cows and their babies, shifting young stock, milking, cleaning up . . .
So why then do I, as a 50-50 sharemilker, suddenly find myself working as hard as ever for half the milk price?
I was in a board meeting with an accountant, a property investor and Trev from Te Kauwhata. We all wanted to invest money in Fonterra's new shareholders fund.
What do you do when you see a farmer with stock on the road? Do you slow down or stop? Do you offer to help? Or do you plant foot and try to get past those annoying smelly animals and the red-neck in the funny hat as fast as you can?
There are many jobs to be done before calving, which could start any day now – but officially on June 19.
The thought of moving a farm from Whangamata to Kaitaia was much worse than actually doing it.
OPINION: Horror stories about poor treatment of farm employees in the New Zealand dairy industry are rife.
Somebody out there knows damn well who that ignorant fence-cutting bastard is.