Friday, October 29, 2010

Making progress

It's been a good week on the dairy farm, and we've made some progress on several fronts.

We are finally having more cows freshen than the are drying off, so our milking herd size is beginning to increase. Milk production (per cow) is also continuing to improve, albeit slower than what we would like. More of our cows are showing stronger "heats" in the cooler weather, and our conception rates are probably on the rise.

The rainfall we received during the first half of the week has really got the first rye and triticale we planted jumping out of the ground. We've also been able to no-till triticale and oats into one field, and I'm currently about halfway through planting oats into 45 acres of prepared ground. I doubt I'll plant over the weekend, and should finish with that job on Monday. We'll still have quite a few acres of grazing land to no-till drill rye and ryegrass into, but we're not any any big hurry about it.

And while this has been a good week, we are still facing some very real challenges. with our feeding program. Our purchased feed costs have continued to rise, offsetting the gains we've made on our milk price. We're currently looking at different nutritional options for both our heifers and our cows, and it might be more profitable to sacrifice some milk production as long as we don't sacrifice overall animal health.

Whatever happens, we'll do our best to just roll with the punches and make the best of the situation. My family has been able to do that successfully on our dairy farm for nearly 60 years, and I don't see a reason to change that now!


Unknown said...

This is not my forte, but I know my husband has gone to using corn gluten in the feeders' feed. I will ask him if he has any other tips. the higher corn prices is a good news/bad news for the cattle farmers!

Diane Reed Loew said...

it seems there is always something when it comes to farming, but that's what we do best - something. It has a way of working out after we all put in a good deal of work. Be blessed.