Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Back Home Again

After two days of attending meetings at the Alabama Farmers Federation office in Montgomery, I'm certainly happy to trade my dress shoes for rubber boots and get back outside. We're enjoying sunshine today, but there's a pretty chilly wind blowing. We're expecting rain tomorrow and several more days of cool weather.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Bullet Point Updates

  • We tested our milk production yesterday afternoon. We should have the results back sometime next week.
  • We sold 15 springing heifers to a dairyman in Mississippi today, which account for half of the next group due to calve in. The other 15 are due from February 7 - March 29.
  • It rained nearly an inch yesterday, and I only saw the sun for about 5 minutes today.
  • Another shot of cold air is coming in tonight and temperatures should bottom out early Friday morning before it starts warming back up.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

No Snow, Just Cold

We went to bed last night thinking there was a chance we could wake up with a light dusting of snow on the ground. When we woke up this morning, there was no white stuff to be seen. It is pretty chilly though, and our low temperature tonight could be around 15 degrees. After another cold night on Sunday, we shouldn't get very much below freezing for at least another several days. Our highs next week will be seasonable in the low 50's.

We've gotten a fair amount of moisture over the past ten days, and our ground needs every bit it can get.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Back on the Farm Again

After driving over 300 miles in the rain, we made it back home mid-afternoon on Wednesday. Luckily, the business session at the AFBF Annual Meeting moved more quickly than usually and everything wrapped up Tuesday evening.

Other than moving some cows around, I'm not sure what we'll be getting into today.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Live from New Orleans

We're about halfway through the American Farm Bureau Federation's Annual Meeting in New Orleans, and so far it's been a pretty good trip for our Alabama Young Farmers delegation. Our state's member on the AFBF Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee, Townsend Kyzer, has been elected to serve as that committee's national chairman. Chris and Monica Carroll, our Outstanding Young Farm Family, are among the "top ten" finalists for the Achievement Award (winner will be announced this afternoon). Other than that, it's been several good informational meetings, good fellowship, and good food! The business session will be all day tomorrow and then Wednesday morning, and I hope to be back on the farm by late Wednesday afternoon.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

On the Road Again

After spending Monday and Tuesday in Montgomery, I'm off again...this time to New Orleans. The wife and I will be attending the American Farm Bureau Federation's Annual Meeting and will not return until Wednesday. I'll be observing several of the Young Farmers & Ranchers competitions and will serve as one of the Alabama Farmers Federation's voting delegates at the business session.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Dodged the Tornado

When it stays around 70 degrees for a few days in January, you can just about count on a severe thunderstorm brewing up before too long. Well, today was that day. A strong system moving through Mississippi developed into a tornado and caused lots of damage to a dairy in Weir, Mississippi, and to the school at Caledonia (just about 20 miles from here). The same tornado did some damage here in Lamar County, and was projected to track right over our farm. Luckily for us, it weakened before it got here and didn't cause any damage on our place. Nevertheless, it was a very tense few moments around 2:30pm watching the weather alerts on the barn's television while listening to the howling wind, driving rain, and small hail. The cows weren't too fond of it either.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Wintertime in Alabama

Lows crept down to about 17 degrees this past Wednesday morning. Other than the general misery of working in weather that cold, our pneumatic system in our milking parlor was frozen and we had to milk without some of the automation that we're used to. It only really cost us a little over an hour worth of time though. After the sunrise and through day, the temperatures never got much above freezing, and Thursday morning lows were around 20 degrees. Since then, though, we've warmed up enough in the afternoons for everything to thaw out and will stay completely above 32 degrees today. In fact, we're climbing and expecting highs on Monday to possible hit 70 degrees. Welcome to wintertime in Alabama!

Our cows are still producing very good with a bulk-tank herd average of 64.5 pounds of milk per cow per day. Our butterfat content has dropped over the last six weeks from the 3.6-3.7% range to 3.3-3.4%, and that's probably an effect of the overall increase in production volume.

We're making a change in our cow's feed as well. We've replaced half of the wheat/oat baleage this past week with corn silage, and will be fully replacing it with silage when we run out of the baleage during the weekend.