Driving across the south east of Australia at this time of the year, many may think autumn is the least interesting season within the calendar year.
Yes, all the crops are harvested, the wool and lambs are sold and the outcomes of the 2021-22 year are known, with attention focused on a new production year.
It is at this time of the year that new ideas, varieties and enterprises are being bedded down with great expectation for the coming year.
Being just a couple of months to the end of the financial year, tax planning should have been done by now to minimise the cash outflow, particularly if last season was a good one.
A good season usually results in some new machinery or equipment - which should not only improve efficiency but also be reward for effort.
It provides a constant reminder that being profitable in business is what allows this investment to take place.
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Following the spring land sales, many farmers will have just taken on the new block and be busily making the farm what they want it to be.
I know of several new leases that have been entered into, allowing young farmers to start to grow their business and provide themselves with greater security for the future.
Pregnancy scanning of ewes has or is about to take place and this give some idea as to the success of the changes made to management pre-joining. Scanning identifies the potential for the coming year and sets expectations.
Feeding livestock by this time of the year has been on the daily agenda for many weeks and is starting to become a bit of grind for some.
It is the ones who do their feed budgets accurately and have their stock in target condition at this time that will reap the benefits of investing heavily in feed.
They will have more live offspring, better growth rates and fewer deaths later in the season.
Fire permits being issued signals the start of the burn-off period as farmers prepare paddocks for the new cropping season.
Some large plumes of smoke may send environmental messages to some but for me it means a new set of hopes and dreams are about to unfold.
Many country kids have gone off to boarding school with parents committing to investing heavily in their children's future.
Some parents are "empty nesters" for the first time and find the adjustment to life a little challenging at first.
A few mums have that long-awaited spare time and are considering what they can do for themselves.
Many school leavers are also coming to the realisation the school uniform is a thing of the past and that "long yearned for career" in farming is becoming a realisation. At last, the dirt under the fingernails is there for a reason.
Autumn time is the only time of the year when many farmers truly relax and find some time to do some other things. They renovate buildings or yards or even take the speedboat to the lake.
It is the time of the year when some short weeks can be worked, following a period of putting in long hours and becoming both physically and mentally tired.
It is a time to recharge and reflect on how good it is to be a farmer living in a community that you love.
For me, one of the pleasures of the autumn is the weather - it is the "most liveable" time of the year where barbecues and the enjoyment of others can be done in a fully relaxed state.
The extremes of temperature are no longer an issue and the wind has decided to have a rest.
We should never lose sight how good the agricultural industry is, and I very much wish you the best for the coming season.
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