Thursday, June 5, 2008

It's hot in NW Alabama

We returned from Panama City Beach about 4:00 yesterday afternoon, and I believe it's hotter in Lamar County than it was on the coast. It doesn't help that our home's air conditioning apparently broke down while we were away.

Our cows' production has continued to declined since we had to change their feed formulation about three weeks ago. Even though our TMR has been formulated by a professional, something isn't jiving. It may be the feed itself, it may be the amount the cows are eating/not eating, it may be the heat, or it may be a combination of reasons. Anyway, their health is good but we've got to figure out a way to get their production back up.

Speaking of things to fix, the new Jay-Lor mixer wagon we bought a few weeks ago still isn't doing what we think it should. It's taking too long to grind up the baleage and is throwing too much of it out of the mixing tub. The dealership has sent someone to look at it and they are supposed to come back end of the week to make some adjustments on it. We'll see if it makes a difference.

In the "what else can go wrong" category, both of our New Idea 5406 hay mowers are out of commission with broken gears in the cutterbar. Hopefully we can buy replacement parts for just what's broken without having to buy an expensive kit/combo. Our other alternatives would be trying to find replacement parts at a salvage yard or buying a new mower and robbing parts off of one of the old ones to fix the other.

Luckily, with an assist from our Gehl cutter/conditioner, they were able to get all of our ryegrass cut down. We'll put our hay baler on this afternoon and start what will probably be about a three day process to get it all rolled up. We'll be putting all of this hay up dry, as opposed to the baleage we made off of the first cutting.

So, between the normal milking and feeding schedule today and tomorrow, we'll have to bale hay, haul some baleage to the "home base" to grind in our feed wagon, field apply some organic nutrients, and hopefully finish disking our cropland in the Yellow Creek bottom. If we can get all of this accomplished, hopefully next week we will be able to start either drilling in our BMR sorghum-sudangrass (sudex) in our upland fields or start the process of planting our forage sorghum in the bottomland.

It looks like it's shaping up to be a long, hot, hard summer.

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