Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sunday update, 5/10/09

First of all, Happy Mothers Day to all of you ladies out there who have ever been a mother or a mother-figure to someone. As the old song goes, "There ought to be a hall of fame for mamas..."

The mommas on my farm, all 240 of them, are quite healthy and have enjoyed the cooler weather this weekend has brought. Unfortunately, it's getting to be the time of year where our cows begin dropping their milk production. That's a result of several factors. First of all, a good many of them are getting "late in their lactation curve". In other words, a majority of the cows that are currently milking have been doing so for over 150 days and are gradually lowering their production. We also have many that are close to or have entered the second half of their pregnancy (cows carry a calf for 9 months) which means that more of what they eat is going towards growing a calf at the expense of making milk. The increasing heat and humidity is also another factor that diminishes milk production.

This past week we finally finished chopping our spring forages for silage. We had several mechanical problems that slowed the process, but we did finally chop most everything we intended to. We still have several acres of ryegrass left to harvest, but we will cut it, green bale it, and then silage wrap each individual bale to make baleage. Speaking of which, baleage will be the primary forage our cows get over the next couple of weeks. Our summer grain sorghum silage will run out tomorrow and the silage we just packed hasn't quite had time to complete the ensilation process. We did harvest some rye as baleage about half-way through harvest and it is ready to feed. So, we'll grind 2-3 bales of the stuff for each feed batch and add in cottonhulls and our dairy feed. We'll continue to graze the cows in the mornings (weather permitting) to help supplement their TMR.

There are alot more things happening around the farm, and a whole host of very serious, challenging issues facing our dairy industry. I'm going to try and be a little more dedicated to the blog this week and will probably post about several of these topics. So check back soon and make sure in the meantime that you're getting your three daily servings of dairy products. And once you do, do me a favor and have 2-3 more servings because it tastes so good!

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