Thursday, September 23, 2010

It's still summertime on the farm

Even though it is now technically "Fall", the continued dry weather and heat would certainly make a person think it's still summertime. Our milking cows are still coming to cool in the barns by mid-morning, the bermudagrass in our pastures is starting to fade away, and our tall fescue has yet to begin its autumn growth-spurt.

We've decided to move some of our larger animals off of some heavily grazed and drought-stressed land and onto greener pastures...literally. We consolidated a group of pregnant heifers and dry cows (all due to calve after the first half of November) this morning into a pasture that includes a 20 acre hay field that was attacked by armyworms a couple of weeks ago. That bermudagrass won't grow back enough to justify cutting it for hay, but it has thickened up enough to make for some good grazing. There is a 10 acre field of sudex regrowth adjacent to the pasture that will also available for grazing for another 2-3 weeks.

Speaking of sudex, the weather has been ideal for curing it into hay. I mowed six acres of regrowth in a grazing paddock (that hasn't been grazed lately) on Monday and flipped it today with the hay rake. It should be ready to bale early tomorrow afternoon and will be fed to heifers or dry cows this winter.

If the current weather forecast holds we should be getting a break from the heat and maybe a little rain early next week. If so, it will be good for our cows and certainly for our pastures, and it will move us a little closer to planting our cool-season forages like rye, oats, and ryegrass.

Don't forget our Edopt-a-Cow program, and have a "dairy" good day!

No comments: