What does the perfect body look like? Not mine, that’s for sure! Yesterday, I was reminded just how bad my genes are for farming. Allergies run on both sides of my family and the worst irritant of all looks like this:
I’m told it’s called “fog” grass because the pollen is released in such huge quantities, it makes everything go misty. Dynamite! Yesterday, I had to wander through thigh-high forests of it to get the dam siphon running again. My scalp, eyes, nose, mouth and arms are all still desperately itchy 15 hours later.
The cows don’t like it either. Fog grass is covered in thick velvety “fur” that understandably is most unpalatable.
Thankfully, we have a lot less of this hideous grass nowdays. It was everywhere when I was a girl but much better grazing management has seen it restricted to untouched pockets of dampness (like the dam wall).
Grass management is a big deal for Australian dairy farmers because it is the greatest predictor of profitability. We count leaves, we estimate the tonnes of pasture in paddocks and aim for the magic nexus of quality and quantity. Somehow, it’s reassuring to know that nothing beats the simplicity of grazing grass for high performance dairy farming, even in 2012.