Monday, June 1, 2009

Welcome to June

Today's the first day of June, and it's a doggone hot start to the sixth of those days you have to put on a fresh pair of socks when you return to the farm after lunch. June is also when we celebrate Dairy Month, but more about that in a later post.

We've only planted 22 acres of a summer crop so far, and have a long way to go be where we need to be. We'll be planting sudex for grazing and hay, sorghum for silage, and we have about 70 acres of bermudagrass that we'll cut for hay as well. Putting the pencil to paper and figuring out what our planting costs will be is proving to be a sickening experience, but I just keep trying to tell myself to focus on the end "cost per ton of drymatter produced" figure which should easily be less than what we would pay for someone else to grow our forages.

We're also beginning to thin out the milking herd, which is typical for us this time of year. We "dried off" ten pregnant cows on Saturday, and those girls are now on good pasture with plenty of grass and shade and won't need any additional feed for a few weeks. We're sending 7 older, lower producing cows into the beef supply tomorrow, and will be drying off an additional 4 by the end of the week. That's a 10% reduction in our milking herd we will have made in a week's period, but these girls are no longer "paying their way" with milk prices as low as they are. Hopefully we'll get a turnaround before too long, but I'm not holding my breath.

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