It's been a busy past couple of weeks on the farm, both in the fields and in the maternity pasture.
|rain falling on a field of forage sorghum|
Plentiful rainfall has all the crops colored a nice, healthy shade of green. Our silage corn is right on track to begin harvesting in about 10 days, the forage sorghum is getting thicker by the day, our bermudagrass is ready to cut for hay, and the late-planted sudex crop is off to an impressive start. That's not to say there haven't been a few tense moments, though. Last week we spotted fall army worms in all of our hay fields, but fortunately we were able to spray and kill them before they could do any significant damage. We've also been fortunate to escape any damage from a couple of "high winds" thunderstorms that have passed through (knock on wood...another is on its way).
Ideally, we would be harvesting half of our hay this week, the remainder next week, and begin silage harvest the following week. The rain has forced us to abandon any plans for harvesting this week, so we'll attempt to do all of our haying next week so as not to delay silage chopping. We're expecting good quality and quantity from both crops, but we can't count tonnage before it's harvested.
As I mentioned, there has been lots of activity in the maternity pasture lately. We have had quite a few cows freshen 7-10 days earlier than their due dates (not uncommon in summertime), and our active milking herd size is now back up to 167 cows. More importantly, milk production is climbing as we're drying off the stale cows and replacing them with the fresh one. Heat stress will continue to be an issue for several more weeks, but at least the evenings should be a little cooler by the time we start calving our heifers in mid-to-late September.