Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wednesday Tidbits, 10/28/09

My wife and I left the farm early last Thursday morning (after I fed the milk cows, of course) bound for Indianapolis. The AFBF's Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee was holding it's fall meeting in conjunction with the National FFA Convention. It was my first time to visit Indy and to take part in the FFA Convention, and I was very impressed with both the city and the blue-jacketed youth who were seemingly everywhere. It was great to see all the enthusiasm the FFA members have for agriculture, and I know our industry's future will be in good hands.

As I mentioned, our YF&R Committee met during the trip. We worked together staffing a booth at the FFA Convention's trade show, boxed up food for the needy at a local food bank, and had a great time visiting with each other over the course of four days. I always come home feeling refreshed and recharged after spending time with my Farm Bureau family, and I'm already looking forward to seeing them all again in January.

While we were gone, the farm kept chugging right along, of course. Dad and our employees were able to chop 25 loads of sorghum on Thursday before rain moved in that night and shut harvest for a few days. They "dried off" quite a few of our pregnant milk cows Friday afternoon, and didn't have much to do other than milk and feed through the weekend.

Monday morning we moved into another field and cut 17 loads by the end of the day. It began raining late that night so yesterday was a no-go. We tried to resume the harvest this morning, but the ground is still too slick to operate. We'll let it air out this afternoon and hope we can cut some tomorrow morning before the next round of rain moves in.

On the cow front, we're now down to 181 in milk with 11 more due to dry off this week. We also have a few that should be calving in the next few days, but we'll hit this year's lowest number of cows in-milk sometime within the next 2.5 weeks. We'll start freshening cows and heifers faster than we dry them off once mid-November rolls around, and from there it should be a slow, steady climb back to 200+ cows milking sometime after the first of the year.

Finally, we had our monthly DHIA test this morning. Each of our cows' had their milk production measured, and we also pulled milk samples from each cow to have them analyzed for butterfat and protein composition. We should get a preliminary report back on their production amount this afternoon and the official report with the sample results next week. You can learn a little more about this in our newest MooTube Minute.

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