Saturday, April 12, 2014

Weekend Farm Update

Another busy week on the farm is coming to an end, and the next one could be even busier. But before I look ahead, let me quickly catch you up on what's been happening on and off the farm since I last blogged a couple of weeks ago:

National AgDay: As I mentioned in my last posting, I participated in a USFRA-sponsored panel discussion entitled "The Next Generation of America’s Farmers and Ranchers" during National AgDay in Washington, DC (recap/audio). I was afforded the opportunity the next evening to attend a special screening of Farmland, a documentary in which six young farmers/ranchers from across America talk about their passion for agriculture. I know documentaries aren't the genre most people watch when they go to a movie theater, but I strongly encourage you to see this one. And speaking of watching something, check out the MooTube Minute I filmed in front of the Capitol while I was in DC.

at the Farmland screening with film subjects Brad Bellah & Leighton Cooley on the left,
fellow USFRA panelists Kate Danner, Seth Pratt, & Joel Mathiowetz on the right

Lamar County Cattle Drives: Back on the farm, we've held pretty steady at 210 cows in milk. We're still grazing them every day, which sometimes requires what I call a Lamar County Cattle Drive. Almost all of the land we strip-graze our cows on in the Spring is across the road from our dairy barn and their primary pasture/feeding area. Most of the acreage is accessible to them by simply crossing the two lanes of County Road 36, but grazing the furthest paddocks requires a road trip. Several times we've walked our herd down 1500' of CR-36 and into their paddocks in the morning and then back to the dairy barn in the afternoon. We have only needed to stop a few cars during the cattle drives, and none of those drivers seemed to be too put-off by the five minute delay. I've posted several pictures and short videos on Instagram and my various other social media channels, so be sure to check those out if you haven't already.

Baseball: My family will soon begin claiming the Vernon City Park as our secondary residence. Both the kids are playing baseball this year, and I'm a volunteer assistant on my son's coach-pitch team. Having games or practices three nights of the week has cut into my "crash on the couch" time in the evenings, which has in turn really made me put a priority on taking naps during my breakfast and lunch breaks. And though I'm not getting as much rest as I need and our lawn and landscaping have become woefully neglected, we are all having fun with it. Now if only my son's team could get that elusive first win...
our little ball players

She's having a baby: Our local veterinarian was on the farm this past week to check 62 cows for pregnancies. It was a good result as 54 of the cows checked out positive, giving us a total of 127 pregnant milking cows. We still have quite a few to breed over the next few weeks, and need to do so before hot weather and heat stress wreak havoc on the conception rate.
Dr. Hidalgo preg-checking a group of cows

Looking ahead, we expect to plant silage corn in the very near future. Rain is in the forecast for Monday, but hopefully it will be dry enough to get in the field by mid-week. If so, we're targeting 40 acres of our "hill ground" to fertilize and plant by the end of the week.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Right now we are also too busy in our farm. Next week gonna be very busy too.