Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Late night cattle drive

When the phone rang at 11:48 last night, I knew it could mean only one thing...cows were out. Actually, eight of the heifers in the pasture right next to my house had been spooked or ran through the fence by something and had high-tailed it down the road. After an initial search, we hadn't found the heifers but did find where they tore down their fence. We decided to give finding them one more try before we called it off until daylight. About three miles down the road we finally found them and got them turned back around. Luckily for us, they never strayed from the right-of-way on the way back and we never met a vehicle either. We had them back in their pen about a quarter 'til two this morning. Despite the time of night and the distance, this was actually a pretty easy "cattle drive" compared to some of the wild ones we've had in the past.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Heifer breeding time

We caught 38 heifers this morning that are ready to be bred. If we're successful with our AI'ing, they should calve sometime in early-to-mid December.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Applying fertilizer? Not so fast!

Yesterday I hooked up our sprayer wagon with the thoughts of applying some liquid nitrogen fertilizer to some of our spring forages. I thought I could cover somewhere between 40-50 acres before the rain moves in today.

Wrong answer.

It turns out that our pto roller pump has deteriorated to some degree and won't deliver the pressure needed to spray out the N-sol at the correct rate. So, we're stuck until a new one arrives sometime next week.

Meanwhile, we weighed our cows' milk yesterday and should get preliminary results back today. I'm going to guess that our average (of only those milking) was around 67 pounds each.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Live from Baltimore

It's Monday, the last day of the American Farm Bureau's national Young Farmers & Ranchers Conference. I've been able to pick up on some good information and make several good contacts with people from all across the country. We have a tour day set up today and will be flying out tomorrow (I should be back on the farm by lunchtime).

Our part of Alabama wasn't hit hard by the severe weather and tornados that wreaked havoc yesterday. I just hope these last few weeks are not an indication of what we should expect weather-wise this whole year.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

StormWatch '08: Round III

This afternoon, we face what could prove to be the third storm system of the new year that has the potential to be classified as "severe". The previous two spawned tornadoes, though I don't think this one will be quite so bad.

With rain coming today and then probably again during the weekend, it will probably be next Wednesday before we can start spraying fertilizer onto our wheat, oats, and ryegrass. Provided we can get the nitrogen on it before too much longer and we continue to get regular rainfall, our cows should have a lot of high-quality baleage this coming spring.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

I'm home, but not for long

After spending the last couple of days down in Mobile for our annual Young Farmers Leadership Conference, we returned home about 3:30 this afternoon. I won't be working much over the next few days, though. I'll be attending a FarmPAC meeting in Montgomery on Wednesday afternoon, and will be flying to Baltimore for the AFBF Young Farmers & Ranchers Conference on Friday. I should be back home from that trip in time to work on Tuesday afternoon.

I certainly have picked a bad time to come down with a cold.

Anyway, our cows had slowed down on production due to all the wet weather recently, put they're now picking back up. Our spring forages are looking pretty good, and we'll be hitting them with fertilizer before too much longer.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Name those calves!

We've recently had two new baby heifer calves born and we'd like your help in naming them. Read the information below, and then submit your suggestions as a comment to this message:

1) GDF #827 - her dam's (mother's) name is "Kathy Sue" and her sire's (father's) name is Iroquois.

2) GDF # 828 - her dam's name is Brandee and her sire's name is Warrior.

Thanks for your help!


The latest weather system to move through our area dropped 1.6 inches of rain on us, and more is predicted Sunday through Tuesday of next week. As badly as we need the rain to counter the drought, our pastures are starting to get pretty sloppy.

The "Edopt-a-Cow" updates should be posted on the farm website sometime between now and Monday. If you aren't participating in "Edopt-a-Cow", give it a's free!