Thursday, May 21, 2009

A quick update on a beautiful morning

Good morning, yall! I've only got a few minutes before heading back over to the dairy, so let me get you up to speed with a few simple bullet points:

On Gilmer Dairy Farm...
  • The weather is great...sunny, mild, breezy, and dry. It's been good for our animals and for the ground surface as well.
  • We baled and wrapped the last of our ryegrass Tuesday. Soon we'll be turning our attention to planting and growing our summer forage crops (sorghum and sudex) and managing our bermudagrass hayfields and pastures.
  • Milk production continues has dropped as our cows get further along into their lactation curve. We're down around 57lbs/cow/day now. That will probably improve once our silage is ready to feed. We're still grazing the cows daily, but the grass is getting mature and losing quality (therefore the cows produce less milk).
  • We expect to get the final revised drawings for our new feeding barn from our engineer in the next few days. Hopefully construction will begin next month.
  • I spent most of yesterday and should spend most of today applying bovine-generated organic fertilizer to bermudagrass.
In the dairy industry:
  • Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) announced last week that over 100,000 cows will be removed from the national milking herd in an effort to help curb oversupply.
  • Current milk prices and futures remain too low for many dairies to sustain long-term operations.
  • The idea of a mandatory, nation-wide supply management program is picking up steam. Several individuals and industry groups have proposed different plans. Pretty much every dairyman I know is sick and tired of our price volatility, so a plan like this may actually have a chance at acceptance. There will have to be a whole lot of give-and-take on the details, though.

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