Friday, May 30, 2008

Vacation time

All this running around this year has worn me out, so we're going to take off to the coast for a few days and get our batteries recharged. This will be only the second true vacation we've taken since our honeymoon five years ago, the other one being a three day trip to St. Louis back in May 2005. We've traveled a whole lot during that time period, but every other trip has been tied to a meeting or conference through the Alabama Farmers Federation or Dairy Farmers of America.

This trip is also going to serve as a test run for seeing how well our 2.5 year old will travel long distances. A few weeks from now, we'll be driving a little over 600 miles to a wedding near Dayton, Ohio, and from there to a meeting in Asheville, NC. By the time we get home, we'll have put around 1500 miles on the car in a week's time.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Good timing, bad timing

We got nearly half an inch of rain from a thunderstorm that came through about 2:00am. That's good news for the hayfield I sprayed with N-sol yesterday, as it will put the nitrogen into the ground without "burning" the grass. That's bad news for our bottomland corn fields because we needed another 24 hours of dry weather to finish breaking the ground.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Warm Weekend

Temps this weekend will be touching 90 degrees, with a lot of humidity in the air. It looks like summertime is just about here.

This past week has been fairly productive. We've "cleaned up" a couple of our hayfields and got a pretty fair crop of mature ryegrass/early bermudagrass hay. Thanks to favorable weather conditions, I was able to apply about 75,000 gallons of cow-generated liquid fertilizer to those fields to give them a kick-start. I'll hopefully be able to apply N-sol (32-0-0 liquid nitrogen fertilizer) to the bermudagrass on Monday or Tuesday to give it the rest of the nitrogen it needs.

Our window for planting silage corn is getting pretty small, and the bottom land where we've planned to grow it has still been too wet to work. We'll have to tear the ground to have any chance at all of drying it out enough to plant corn, and hopefully we can begin with that on Monday as well.+

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Huntsville to home to hayfield

I got home from Huntsville a little before 4:00 this afternoon. After unloading the truck and and watching the final of the UEFA Champions League, it was time to go to the farm and start running the hay rake. I guess everything is back to normal.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Live from Montgomery

I've been in Montgomery today for the Alabama Farmers Federation's monthly Board of Directors meeting. I'm staying here overnight and will be traveling to Huntsville in the morning for an animal-welfare issues training event. I'll be back home on the farm sometime Wednesday afternoon.

I know dad and and our employees were cutting some ryegrass today with the hope of dry baling it later this week. I guess we'll see if the rain will hold off long enough to do that.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Farm Tour

We gave our first farm tour of the year today. My wife brought her 4th grade class out and we showed them around the milking facility. I shared some "dairy facts" with them and answered some questions. The best question was "How do you tell boy cows from girl cows?" After thinking for a few seconds, I said, "That's a question I bet your parents could answer for you when you get home!"

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Changing Feed

We've run out of corn silage, and we're almost out of peanut hay, so our cows' TMR is changing. We'll be building it around our baleage (probably 3 bales a day), and will use dry hay (bermuda or ryegrass), cotton hulls, and custom-mix dairy feed. We've still got a few more days worth of grazing in the fields across from the barn, so that will help a little.

Long day behind, Long day ahead

I wrapped 135 bales yesterday between 1-8 pm after trying (and failing) to adjust our wrapper to work with a faster tractor all morning. I've got about 75 bales waiting on me this morning with probably another 100 yet to be baled. At best, I can do 30 an hour, but I'm afraid it will be a slow process getting the bales to the spot I'm wrapping and dumping them. With so much left to do, it makes sense that it's supposed to rain alot today. And, of course, the Ford 6600 I'll be running the wrapper with doesn't have a cab or canopy.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Rough ride

The field I started working in yesterday is very rough and full of rocks. I had to replace 8 of 14 mower blades and turn another 3 over before I stopped yesterday evening. I've also got a sore back and neck this morning, with at least another 3 hours worth of cutting to go. We're also going to have to push harder to get it raked, baled, and wrapped since the weatherman is now giving a good chance of rain for Thursday. One thing's for sure, though...there's enough forage out there to be well worth the aggravation!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Back to the Field

We wound up with 122 wrapped bales of ryegrass last week, putting us at about 350 total wrapped bales of ryegrass and lupin/wheat. As soon as I can choke down some lunch I'll be back out in the field. We've got about 30 acres of a wheat/oat mix and 3 acres of ryegrass left to do.