Milk volume is down. Everything that we do revolves around grass. We go through the extra work to produce 100% grassfed milk because of the many health benefits. If we were to feed grain there would be a bigger cushion and you wouldn’t notice how the pasture effect milk production. Because of our commitment to the very highest (and most inconvenient) standards there are some sacrifices too. Our sacrifice right now is the amount of milk the cows are producing.
The summer drought has taken a toll. It effected the quantity and quality of the grasses. It will take a while to recover. Cows that would normally be milking strong at this time of the year are not.
Additionally, Matt wasn’t feeling up to par last week and I (Rachel) had to do much of the chores for a few days. I am not Matt. I do not have the stamina, strength or speed. So milking was late, feeding was late and the cows didn’t appreciate it.
Furthermore, we had to dry off four cows. Two months before they have their baby calf we need to give the cows body a rest. They need to put all their energy into growing a calf not milk production.
Good news is we had a calf last week. A cute bull calf going to a customers home. The other fours cows will be giving us calves in about two months. There is always hope at the end of the horizon.
With the exception of prepaid milk, we have taken the approach that all existing customers that we know have orders will be decreased a percentage of their normal order. This was the most fair idea we could come up with. We are not accepting new milk customers at this time but expect milk to be up again later this fall. They can start up then.
So we thank you for your understanding. This is the real ups and downs of non-commercial, non-grain dairy farming. It is always an adventure! Glad you are along for the ride.