Monday, October 29, 2007

Time to plant

Last week was was cool and wet and I loved every minute of it. The clouds have now given way to the sunshine, and it's finally time to plant our cool season crops. I'll start drilling in ryegrass seed this afternoon, and hopefully by the end of the week we will have been able to start preparing our fields for oats and wheat.

We dried off eight cows today and had one heifer freshen, so we'll have 191 cows going through the parlor this afternoon. Right now, their daily TMR consists of a concentrated dairy feed meal, cottonseeds, cottonseed hulls, alfalfa, ryegrass/oat hay, and bermudagrass hay.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Bad Week

Well, this is the first time I've posted anything this week, but it's not for a lack of things to talk about...I've just been too worn out. My folks left on a trip to West Virginia on Wednesday, and things really started happening once they got out of sight. Since that morning, I've had to replace the starter on one of our "can't do without" tractors (had to have a new one shipped overnight), I've had calves out, I've had cows getting into the wrong pastures, I've had two calves get sick, the bucket of one of our loaders wasn't locked in and fell into our feed mixer wagon (which wasn't fun getting out), and those are just the minor things I'm willing to talk about! In other words, it's really been a dairy farm over the last few days.

On the plus side, we got a half-inch of rain on Thursday, and more's predicted for the first of next week!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Not much to report

We got just a little bit of rain on Tuesday. We're very thankful for it, but it wasn't nearly enough to allow us to start planting our winter crops. That same day I was in Montgomery for a state Young Farmers Committee meeting at the Alabama Farmers Federation home office. Other than that, it's just been a "by-the-book" week on the dairy. Our weather has turned cooler, with a high today in the 70's and a low tonight in the 40's, but it's going to creep back up into the mid-80's sometime next week, so says the weather man.

Friday, October 5, 2007

What we've accomplished

Over the last few days, we were able to harvest 68 bales of sudex baleage (bringing the grand total up to 106) and 143 bales of dry bermudagrass hay. On a per acre basis, neither of these are very good, but we're happy to get anything this year considering the drought. Other than helping dad change the milk machine inflations late one afternoon, I can't think of anything I've done this week that didn't involve cutting, baling, or wrapping hay.

I'll be going in to work at 3 am tomorrow morning to milk with my father while one of our employees handles feeding the cows and heifers. Once we finish milking, I'll prepare the cows' afternoon feed and then will be loading up to go to Starkville. It's homecoming at Mississippi State, and though I'll miss the Ag Alumni breakfast at 8:00, I should be there in time for the FarmHouse Association Meeting at 10:00. Afterwards, me and some of my old friends will enjoy pregame festivities in the Junction adjacent to Davis Wade Stadium. Then we'll watch State hopefully beat UAB starting at 1:30 pm.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Hay Time

After moving heifers and dry cows from pasture to pasture, weaning calves, and receiving a truckload of alfalfa yesterday morning, we turned our attention to our hayfields. I ran our cutter/conditioner through our remaining ten acres of sudex, which we project to bale green on Wednesday. Late this morning after the dew has dried, a couple of our employees will join in with our conventional hay mowers to help me cut about 40 acres of bermudagrass. We've got a long day ahead of us!

In other news, I made a few slight updates to our farm website over the weekend, most notably adding links to old articles about us at the bottom of our "farm news" page.