John Milne believes more farmers will look at farm system changes to suit their farming needs.

What a year! Our youngest has finished a very broken ‘Covid-19’ 2020 school year, that’s him out into the workforce.

Jacinda has climbed back into the history books. Winnie has disappeared, Biden is in power, Trump is still golfing. OMG as the kids would say.

By the time this article is being read around New Zealand we will be close to halfway through our season here on the coast. All the future offspring will be weaned and well on track for growth rates, to ensure a good contribution to the future herd. Bulls will almost be finished, with the tail end of mating. Summer crops will be reaching mid-point in their growth, so we can take our foot off the throttle and head into our 3-in-2 milking regime (6am, 6pm, 11am milking times).

That’s our system, it works for us and our farm/family life and workload.

Our cows adapt to this system very well, sure you lose a bit of production in the period when you first change their regime but this is quickly halted as they adjust.

The animals seem to adjust to the change in pattern better than we do. All you have to remember is that as with any change there are some positives and negatives.

The trap is that you can fall into doing more hours’ work than you would normally do between the 6am and 6pm milkings. It’s that time of year: silage/baling time and you can be burning the candle at both ends, so you have to be aware of this.

On the flipside when the 11am milking is done, that’s it for the day, if that’s what you choose.

And it’s nice to have a sleep-in every other day, even though your body clock tells you it’s time to wake up still.

With the way 2020 has panned out I believe there will be more farmers looking at these sort of farm system changes to suit their farming needs.

With Dairy NZ parking its “Let’s go Dairying” campaign because of limited success, and Covid restrictions it makes it hard to watch vegetable growers see their hard work go to waste.

Rural contractors are struggling for staff to harvest this season’s crops, and to plant for the coming winter.

Somewhere along the line Kiwis are going to have to want to get their hands dirty and contribute to the primary industries that have kept the country going while we have battled through this event. It’s not over yet.

The team of five million have stuck together fairly well to save each other until now but Jacinda has 250,000 Kiwis heading home, if the media and journalists have it right (I have my doubts). She will have to pull a magic trick like never seen before, out of her hat, to keep the team happy.

Finally congratulations to the Agfest team for pulling off what was thought to be a risky event when it was first mentioned. A great two days was had by all. The sun shone and showed off The Coast.