Monday, June 17, 2019

Mid-June update

Well, folks, we've made it past the mid-point of June. And though we've been very busy on the farm these past few weeks, we still have a whole lot of work ahead of us.

This past week was a productive one...and unseasonably comfortable to boot! I sprayed and sidedressed our last remaining acreage of "hill ground" corn, and now all it needs is a few rains between now and harvest time. I was also able to drill roughly 40 acres of pearl millet seed into the ground which I hope to see pegging up by the end of this week. We also fertilized our hayfields, some with a commercial blend and a couple others with manure slurry. We have several pastures that need to be sprayed over the next couple of weeks, and our bottomland corn will likely need to be sprayed next week as well. We have a pretty good chance of rain every afternoon this week, and that will have a big impact on how much or how little tractor time I get over the next 7-10 days.

Our milking herd is still holding at 188 cows, though I figure we will dry off a few of the pregnant ones toward the end of the week. We opened up our final silage pit on Monday, and I'm not sure we won't run out before the first of this year's silage crop has been harvested and adequately ensiled. Reducing the number of cows in the milking herd along with their reduced summertime appetites will help extend our supply a bit, as will presumably our first cutting of millet. If we can make it through August off last year's crop, great! If not, we may have to buy and feed a "one shot" built-in-roughage ration for a couple of weeks.

Depending on weather, we may start vaccinating our heifers and steers before the week's up. If not, we'll jump on that job early next week. I figure it will take at least three days to work through them, though we'll probably hold off on the oldest heifers until we can get a "preg check" lined up with our veterinarian. There is usually a lot of loose manure (and a few loose words) flying around the catch pen when we work heifers, but I'll try to keep my clothes...and my clean as I can.

I'll leave y'all with last week's MooTube Minute. I hope you all have a dairy good week!

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