Tuesday, March 31, 2009

It's almost time

Things are really about to start picking up here on the dairy.

A combination of mild temperatures and plenty of moisture over the last few weeks have really made our spring forages grow, and weather permitting we'll begin to harvest next week. Off the top of my head, I think we have about 55 acres of rye, 45 acres of a tritcale/ryegrass mix, and 35 acres of ryegrass. We're looking at spending 2-3 weeks harvesting (depending on the weather), so I'm thankful that all the acreage won't be maturing at the same time. The harvest technique we plan on using involves cutting it with a hay mower, raking it into a row, running it through our silage chopper, and packing it into a silage pit. We actually have two silage pits available, but depending on how much is left when we fill the first we may opt to make baleage out of the remainder of the crop.

Just as things start picking up in the field, things will be slowing down in the milking barn. Our numbers are starting to come down thanks to dry-offs and transitioning some low producers into the beef market, but our per cow production is still relatively stable. Hot weather is just around the corner though, so milk production and conception rates will both take a dive in the hot, humid Alabama summertime. Hopefully milk prices will improve enough to offset the loss in production!

A guy can dream, can't he?

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