Farley works 70 hours per week
The Australian only milks in the morning and on weekends. During weekday afternoons, he employs a milker, who spends about 3 hours milking, including cleaning and additional activities. According to Farley, he works around 70 hours a week, while his wife, who works as an accountant, takes care of the calves and the paperwork. All-in all, this is little labour for the 220 cows Farley keeps.
Labour is not reduced by hiring contract workers. Quite the opposite, Farley owns all his machines, most of them no older than 4 years. The tractor is a brand-new, 80 kW (105 hp) John Deere. “I think working the fields is a pleasant activity. I do all the soil preparation and the complete feed harvesting myself. I can afford to work with good, modern machinery and deliberately choose convenience and security, even though that increases annual costs.” Especially preparing the soil which takes up much of Farley’s time. He grows 40 hectares of 1-year ryegrass and sows an additional 10 hectares of remaining grassland every year. “The silage of 1-year ryegrass is the basis of the ration in the dry period, that spans from December until March. As a diet structure (fibre) addition, the cows get the lower-quality hay from the remaining pastures. These are mostly mowed in spring to set up pasturing on the 50 or 60 plots with the right supply of fresh grass.”