Cut fence takes gloss from season

Last updated 09:52 28/05/2012

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Lyn Webster

Farming profits not for get-rich-quick investors Day off? Yeah right Sunny skies, growing grass makes for happy farmer Canine helper worth his weight New mother a force to be reckoned with Hard slog on a bog Many trials and rewards of going it alone So much for a cruisy day off Helicopter harassment a farmer's burden Calling the shots is liberating

Somebody out there knows damn well who that ignorant fence-cutting bastard is.

He did the same trick about four times last hunting season, too.

It is someone who knows this farm and doesn't give a toss about the welfare of my stock or my peace of mind.

As the 2011-12 dairy season draws to an end I can look back on an interesting interlude where nothing turned out as planned.

Despite all the upheavals on the HR side where I have learned rather sad lesson – you can't trust anybody these days – the actual nuts and bolts of milking cows has been rather pleasant.

The locals are all telling me I have just experienced the absolute best weather for farming anyone has ever seen here, ever.

While I have not outdone the farm record I've ended the season with 10 per cent more production than the previous sharemilkers, on my own, with grass only, no supplements.

The cows are in better shape condition-wise than I have ever seen them and the bank account, while still majorly on the back foot, is looking slightly better, due not to record production,, but lower costs.

Not all doom and gloom. However, imagine my disappointment when I returned from a couple of well-deserved days off-farm to be informed that my boundary fence had been deliberately cut and half the herd had disappeared off into the forestry.

Luckily my neighbour had seen the cows mooching off into the bush and came to the rescue, managing to chase them back on to the farm and lock them away in a secure paddock.

Once the news had filtered back to me I went to survey the damage and, sure enough, some ignorant pig (hunter) had decided to trespass into the forestry by opening a gate onto my property, cutting a four-wire boundary fence, bending it back to make an opening wide enough for his vehicle, driving up into the forestry and leaving the whole shebang wide open – no worries about the 89 cows wintering in that paddock. What sort of selfish miscreant would do that to a farmer?

So I called the cops, who didn't come.

Now I am left trying to get organised for the big move north with an extra worry that someone is interfering with the wires that keep my herd in a safe place.

You cannot patrol an entire boundary fence any less than you can expect your neighbours to keep constant vigilance over your place as well as their own. Somebody out there knows damn well who that ignorant fence-cutting bastard is.

He did the same trick about four times last hunting season, too.

It is someone who knows this farm and doesn't give a toss about the welfare of my stock or my peace of mind, someone too lazy to go the long way and not adverse to a bit of wilful damage to get what he wants, to hell with everyone else.

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I have expensive public liability insurance in place to cover me if my wandering stock cause damage but in the case of an accident no amount of insurance money takes away the pain of an injury or worse.

This vandalism indicates an inconceivable lack of respect – for stock, self, for property and for public safety.

On the bright side, an old timer who grew up in this valley stopped by the other day to tell me the farm looks the best he's ever seen it in 50 years. I am going to take some credit for that although I am the first to admit that weather-wise this has been a season out of the box.

- Waikato

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