Friday, May 31, 2019

Farm Update - 5/31/19

It's been another hot, dry week on our farm, but we've managed to survive it and get a little bit accomplished along the way.

The most important thing going into this week was to get the last 35 acres of this year's corn silage crop planted down in our bottomland, and to that end we were successful. We spent the first half of the week getting the ground worked up and fertilized, and I spend Wednesday afternoon and most of Thursday running our four-row planter across the dusty fields. I looked back through my records and figured out that our five-year average planting date in those fields is June 2, so we beat it by a couple of days. That wraps up our corn planting for the year, and next we'll move on to a few acres of a pearl millet variety we are trying out. Well, we'll move on to that once it rains again and softens the ground a bit.

2019 corn silage crop...planted.

We really are starting to hurt for rain now. Our earliest planted corn is ready to be side-dressed but I'm hesitant to do it until we get some rain in the forecast. The fields look alright enough in the mornings, but as the sun starts bearing down it's obvious the corn needs a drink. Same goes with our pastures. I did help out one of the hayfields we harvested last week by spreading eight honeywagon loads of manure slurry on it this afternoon, and I imagine that will continue for a couple other fields on Monday and Tuesday.

On the cow side, we currently have 188 in the milking herd. The heat is driving them out of the pasture around mid-morning and into the loafing barn where they can cool down under fans and sprinklers. It's had a negative effect on milk production, but we're pretty much in line with where we expect to be this time of year. Milking times are running around 2.75 hours in the mornings and just over 2 hours in the afternoons.

cow no. 603 serving as a lawnmooer outside the milking barn

If you'd like to get all this information in a condensed, video form, be sure to check out the MooTube Minute I post at the end of each week. I used to post farm videos all the time, but both I and my viewers seemed to get burned out after a few years. I'm really enjoying easing back into it though, and hopefully it will help folks learn more about what happens around here.

And with that I'll bid you farewell. Thanks for your support, and have a "dairy" good weekend!

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