04 Jul Schulz Organic Dairy – Providers of unhomogenised organic milk to Phillippa’s
News from Simon, our milk man.
Winter on the Schulz Farm.
At the beginning of June this year we have really witnessed the beginning of Winter. Wild winds and thumping rain have inundated the farm, turning much of the high use areas into a mud and stone purée, making it a delicate task to move around safely. We are lucky that the median temperatures hasn’t dropped so low as to stop the grass growing, so for the first time this year we have enough for the milking cows and they’re not going hungry.
Milk volumes at this time of year are at their lowest for the season, much of this is due to most of our cows having a six to eight week holiday before giving birth. At the moment we are milking around 200 cows with another 270 to calve in coming weeks. This year is particularly tough for milk volumes because of the poor season we have had since last winter. Our milk production is around 17% down on the same time last year, and with feed costs at record highs it makes this year’s budget a juggling act.
We have been encouraged by the weather outlook predicting above average rain fall, and we have also added a further 200+ acres of organic land to the farm (certification finally came through after 2 years of conversion). This land will allow us to grow more fodder come harvest so we don’t have to buy quite as much feed in.
With the dairy industry in turmoil after some big dairy processors selling out their farmers in the name of profits and shareholders, we remember a time back in 1984 when my grandfather, in this same scenario, made the decision to process his own milk into cheese. A true entrepreneur ahead of his time. The future of so many of our farmers is in doubt and our thoughts and prayers are with them.