|incident map from "Occupy Farm Lane"|
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Friday, December 23, 2011
Thursday, December 22, 2011
|my dad inspects heifers for signs|
of estrus on a rainy morning
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
|staying clean = boring|
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
|our newly delivered calf enjoying its hay bed|
There are times you have to make decisions you would rather not have to make, and this morning was a prime example of that. But this time, at least, there was a silver lining in an otherwise dark cloud.
|my dad looks down at the calf he delivered via c-section|
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
|heifers standing at their hayring|
Monday, October 17, 2011
|"Heck no! We won't go!"|
(1:51pm) BREAKING: All 187
(2:30pm) Officials confirm that milk from
(2:34pm) Says farmer Will Gilmer of
(2:38pm) Gilmer adds that
(2:45pm) Following their milking and release, these
(3:10pm) In a move being described as "typical", several
(3:20pm) When asked to comment on
(3:57pm) Scene from behind the loafing barn as cows return to pasture following
Once we finished our normal afternoon farm duties, I launched my investigation. My first inclination was to check the maternity pasture and inquire if any dry cows' had gotten wind of the milking herd's plot. They were all eating hay and too busy to talk to me, though in all likelihood I doubt the dry cows would have said anything even if they weren't eating.
|undated file photo of|
GDF #0007, aka "Donkey"
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Saturday, October 8, 2011
|dumping a load of chopped sudex|
Friday, September 23, 2011
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
|GDF #636 "Adele" shades on a sunny September day|
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
|the silage chopper in action|
|a full silage bunker or "pit"|
|"And he takes the tractor|
Thursday, August 18, 2011
|windrowed hay ready to be baled|
Dad returned with the belts at 9am, and I started raking an hour later. Since we had a heavy dew, we decided to let the hay sit in windrows for about two hours before we put the baler in the field. I pulled up a RADAR image on my phone around 11, and promptly called my dad to say we needed to start baling immediately. As you can tell by the picture, there is a very good chance that we will be rained out this afternoon.
By 2:30pm the baler rolled up all the hay I had raked yesterday afternoon and this morning. We both moved over to our "big" field (26ac) near Mt. Pisgah Church and went to work. We've just finished with that field and are taking a short supper break before knocking out the remaining 15 acres about a quarter mile from the dairy. Barring any equipment issues, we should be finished between sundown and dew fall.
I finished raking at 8:30, and just got word from my dad that he had finished baling. For the day, we rolled up 200 bales of bermudagrass hay (75 tons) off of 60 acres. We've yielded more tons/acre before, but the sacrifice in quantity should be made up for in quality.
Late this morning it sure looked as if we were going to be rained out, but the weather really worked out in our favor. Time will tell if we can keep that luck on our side next week when we (hopefully) begin chopping our corn for silage.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
|rain falling on a field of forage sorghum|
Thursday, July 28, 2011
|silage corn crop|
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
|David Gilmer is interviewed by WCBI|
- Summer is our toughest time of the year financially with less income from milk sales and higher expenses due to growing feed. It's like this every year though, so we manage our business throughout the year with that reality in mind.
- Since production does decrease in the summer, we manage our herd to have the fewest number of cows milking in July and August. Doing so allows us to have the most cows milking when the weather is more favorable for production.
- My answer about dairies facing credit availability problems dates back to the milk price crash in 2009, though I'm not sure if the situation is still as dire today as it was two years ago. Fortunately, we've always maintained a good relationship with our local bank and credit has always been available when needed.
- I really do believe the long-term outlook for dairies is positive. It may take us a few more years to fully adjust our business model to the new reality of feed, fuel, and fertilizer costs being much higher than ten years ago, but we'll get there. As long as we can continue to grow demand for dairy products both domestically and worldwide, there will always be a need for dairy farmers.
|We "dry off" pregnant cows nearly every week|
during the summer. These will calve in mid-September .
Monday, July 11, 2011
|raking bermudagrass hay|
Saturday, July 2, 2011
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Now don't get me wrong, I love spending time with my family. Time away with my wife and kids is a really good thing, and they deserve my undivided attention from time to time. So here I am, sitting on a sandy beach doing nothing but sipping a cold adult beverage, listening to classic country music on Pandora, watching the kids play in the sand, and typing out this blog post (while my wife rightfully accuses me of ignoring her). Is it relaxing? Yes, but with relaxation comes a little guilt. Why? Because I know my dad and our employees are having to pick up the slack while I'm down at the beach doing nothing that improves our dairy. At least I feel like I'm indirectly helping our family business when I'm at a meeting/conference.
I was fine for the first 45 hours I was away from the farm, but I couldn't resist calling Dad at 8:00 this morning for an update. And I couldn't resist calling again after looking at a rain-filled RADAR image after lunch. Much of my thoughts from this point on until we get home will center around spraying Round-Up and planting forage sorghum.
We have one more full day down here before heading home Thursday morning, and I expect I'll fully enjoy myself and my time with my family between now and then. But I can guarantee you that we won't be back on the farm one moment too soon!
Thinking back on some of the family vacations we took when I was a kid, I guess I'm becoming more and more like my old man.
Sunday, June 19, 2011
And since we Gilmer men aren't very vocal with our emotions, I'll sum up my feelings like this: "I live across the road from the man, I've worked with him for 10 years, and I ain't got no complaints."
As the old saying goes, "anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad." Happy Fathers Day, Dad, and the same to all you other folks who have earned that noble title.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Friday, June 3, 2011
|the official drought is still to our south|
|the milk decline is udderly depressing|
|me & my boy|