Friday, September 28, 2007

End of week wrap-up

Let's review:
  • Tuesday - a continuation of Monday, as our full, 1000-gallon water tank slid off a wagon and busted. I also hit a lot of rocks as I was spot-cutting some sudex in a couple of our fields.
  • Wednesday - nothing major to report other than weighing milk that afternoon.
  • Thursday - I baled and wrapped the sudex I cut Tuesday and wound up with 38 bales. That's not very good, but considering the drought we're in I'm happy I got that many.
  • Friday - I placed the hay bales I made on Thursday while the others cleaned up around the farm. This afternoon, we cut a field of bermudagrass and will plan on baling it Monday.

Monday, September 24, 2007

A case of the Mondays

No matter what line of business a person is in, they usually complain that things never seem to go right on Monday. Today could have been a whole lot better if one thing that happened hadn't, and one thing that didn't happen would have (did you get all that?).

So, what bad thing did happen? Well, in a year like this year, every bale of hay is precious. With that in mind, Murphy's Law dictated that a group of springing heifers (in a pasture will more than adequate grass to graze) tore down a wall section of one of our haybarns and ruined about 15 bales of bermudagrass. With hay costing about $50 per bale...well, you can do the math.

The thing that didn't happen that we wished would have was, of course, rain. It just "felt" like a thunderstorm could come though the whole second half of the afternoon, but never did. We had a Farmers Federation directors meeting in Vernon tonight, and a half a mile from our farm we could see puddles on the side of the road. It even rained in Vernon during our meeting, but no such luck back home.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


104...that's how many bales of signalgrass hay I rolled up this afternoon. The bulk of it was slow-going over very rough ground, as it took me five hours to roll 70 bales. After I ate supper and went back out to a different field, I was able to make really good time. I rolled 34 bales in only an hour and twenty minutes. We'll get back at it tomorrow morning as soon as the dew dries off.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Tuesday's odds and ends

  • The Gilmer Dairy front page has been slightly redesigned.
  • Fourteen yearlings decided to exit their pasture and explore the world sometime late last night or early this morning. We found them only about a quarter mile from where they should have been and put them in a pasture with some older heifers.
  • After some routine maintenance to our hay mowers, a couple of our employees spent most of the day cutting more signalgrass.
  • Our milking cows continue to enjoy the mild temperatures and cool breeze that blows late into the morning. They have started showing their "heats" due to the cooler weather.
  • Two specialists from Auburn University will be visiting with us on Wednesday. They would like us to plant about 10 acres of lupin, a forage legume, and ultimately harvest it as baleage in the spring.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Feels like early fall

After Homberto left us, our weather has turned very pleasant. We're topping out in the afternoons in the mid-to-upper 80's, but there's very little humidity and we're seeing low temperatures down around 60 degrees. The cows are really enjoying it, as they can sunbathe in their pasture much later into the morning.

There was no lack of things to do today. Two of our employees spent most of the day cutting a little over 20 acres of broadleaf signalgrass that we'll roll up for hay later this week. They'll continue cutting in a different field tomorrow and probably into Wednesday. My dad, great-uncle, and I moved some dry cows who are about two weeks from calving out of one pasture and into the maternity pasture. I lost my phone in the process but luckily was able to find it. I'm not sure what all we'll get into tomorrow other than cutting hay, but it never takes long to find something that needs doing on Gilmer Dairy Farm.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

What a good week!

This past week has been pretty doggone good. We got some rain on Tuesday, we got alot of rain Friday morning, and the weather turned just beautiful after that. And to cap it all off, my Mississippi State Bulldogs went down to Auburn and won there for the first time since I stood and cheered their incredible end-of-the-game comeback victory in 1999. The only downside to yesterday's win was that I was offered tickets to the game but decided not to go.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Thank You, Mr. Homberto

What's left of hurricane Homberto has been falling on us as a slow, soaking rain since yesterday evening. As of 3:00 am, we had only gotten 0.7 inches, but it's probably at least 1.5" by now, and the rain is expected to fall up through mid-morning.

So, what does this rain mean for us? Well, it will definitely give a kick to our grass, both in pastures and hayfields. It will also help soften up the top layer of soil...something that had to be done before we could even think about preparing our fields to plant wheat and oats.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A rainy Tuesday?

Today's our best (and probably last) chance to get any rainfall for the next few days, and we need it in the worst way! Our bermudagrass hay fields haven't had enough moisture to grow, and ground is too hard and dry to plant wheat, oats, or ryegrass.

Our cows are still holding up pretty well, and I'm sure they'll appreciate the cooler days we have in store this week (only in the upper 80's!).

I baled up 102 rolls of hay last week, primarily broadleaf signalgrass and johnsongrass. It won't have alot of nutritional value, but it will definitely work as a fiber source. We've got several more acres we plan on cutting, and will probably start doing so tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Quick Notes

  • I've updated the Edopt-a-cow profiles on
  • We've been cutting broadleaf signalgrass since Monday and will continue to do so through this afternoon. We'll rake and bale it tomorrow and Friday, and then start the process over again next Monday.
  • The cows, on average, are still giving around 54-55 pounds of milk.