We have had a very busy few weeks out at Merrifield getting ready for winter feed production, planning our potential sustainable growth plans and getting in the swing of things for 2018.
Our biggest focus this month has been preparing for the planting of winter feed crops. We have been looking a little outside the box and looking at crop varieties that will complement our soils and approach to farming as well as providing part of a plan to allow us to sustainably hold and fatten more cattle over the coming years. This is involving the installation of large scale irrigation gear and better water management across the farm.
Our little Speckle Park steers aren’t as little as they used to be and appear to be making the most of the small amount of rain we had at the beginning of the month. The addition of 36 new little Angus Heifers is quite exciting and really puts the focus on our pasture and feed production. There is nothing better than a steep learning curve to keep you busy. With a lot of hard work and help from our suppliers and partners we think that this year will see us be extremely productive and less reliant on weather.
There has been a lot of rebuilding and renewing in the piggery since the beginning of the year. Our plans to apply for a piggery licence (over 20 sows) are underway and we are putting time into planning the new paddocks and infrastructure needed so that our piggery still meets the high standards that we have set for ourselves. It will be a fantastic improvement if we are able to proceed with a few more sows and heaps of new paddocks to further reduce our stocking rates per acre (already way under the norm for free range farms). Bring on the red tape!
Our butcher has finally been rewarded with a new cool room and storage room this month and it has certainly taken the squeeze off of our existing cool room when we are busy. We have also fired up the meat ageing fridge this month – stay tuned for some amazing dry aged beef coming soon. Hams, bacon and sausages are also being made at the moment.
2018 has also seen new staff start work at Merrifield. We are excited to have Heather and Phoebe join the ranks of our team and hope they enjoy working with us.
Until next time - Stay Merri!