The Dairy Season
The dairy season starts in June but the real action happens between July and September with Spring calving. This is a busy and exciting time of year. Days start early when farmers get up to check the paddocks for newborn calves and to begin the morning milking. Once milking is finished, there's time to go home for breakfast and a break before feeding the calves and carrying out farm duties.
Between October and December cows produce the most milk. Most farms milk the cows twice a day at approximately 5am and 3pm; however the timing of milkings will vary from farm to farm. This is also the time of year when mating occurs in order to get the cows in calf for the next season. This may be done artificially or naturally.
From January to March things on the farm seem to slow down, because depending on the weather conditions, the amount of milk that cows produce will drop. Cows are given pregnancy tests to help aid farmers' decision-making for the remainder of the season and the season to come.
From April to May the herd gradually finishes milking for the season. This period is referred to as the dry period and is often used to tackle major maintenance and development projects on-farm such as fencing, drainage, water reticulation and shed maintenance. Farmers have more free time to enjoy lifestyle and leisure activities as well as to plan for the next season.