Mick’s ready for dry conditions


Mick’s ready for dry conditions

At work: Mick Hughes has 500 cows that require milking once a day on his 400 acre farm in Inverloch.

INVERLOCH’S Mick Hughes isn’t letting the dry conditions affect him this season.

With 32 years in farming and his seventh season on his current 400 acre farm, Mr Hughes says it’s all part of the job.

“You always get thrown a curve ball and you just get on with it,” he said.

 “We were way too wet in winter and early spring but now it’s dried off for us.

“We’ve actually had a pretty good year up until a couple weeks ago.”

The biggest impact for the farmer is feed costs. Mr Hughes said that due to last year’s mid summer rains he didn’t have to start feeding until the end of January, where this year the farmer began feeding his cattle grain within the first few days of January.

“Feeding costs are almost double. We were paying $280 a tonne for whole wheat and now we are paying $480. That’s purely because there is hardly any stock food and there is a shortage in the country,” he said.

Despite the increasing costs of feed, Mr Hughes had pre-empted a few other possible problems and put strategies in place to ensure the dry months would have as less impact on his farm and stock as possible.

By making extra fodder and creating more water catchments, he was well prepared.

“We ran out of water about four or four years ago. We made extra dams, cleaned out dams and made them a bit bigger and did a lot of work in that area.  Effectively we have almost three years of water on hand when everything is full and this year, because everything was so wet, it was full,” Mr Hughes said.

 “We’ve increased herd numbers actually; we’ve just changed a little bit in the way we feed grain and try not to expose ourselves to too many costs.”

Mr Hughes said the slight increase in milk prices recently has been a positive for the dairy industry as well.

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Posted by on Feb 26 2019. Filed under Rural News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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