Friday, July 2, 2021

An early July farm update

Hey, folks! The calendar has turned from June to July, the humidity seems to ratchet up by the day, and we are in full-blown "Summertime Mode" on the farm. Let me take a moment to share with you where we stand on our dairy herd and forage crops.

We currently have 160 cows in our milking herd after drying off 14 cows at the beginning of this week. We should hold there for a couple of weeks before we dry off any more, and then we'll start freshening a few toward the end of the month. I haven't checked the weekly "dry offs vs calvings" projections to see where we'll bottom out numbers-wise, but I would image around 135 sometime between late August and mid-September. But speaking of bottoming out, milk production has really started its annual summer slide. We could be getting a little more out of the cows, but when you take the high cost of feed and relatively low price for milk into account we're economically better off not pushing them to their highest production potential right now.

On the forage side, we have planted all of our acreage save for our bottomland which is still too wet to do anything with. Silage corn went into the ground a good month later than I had hoped for on account of wet conditions in late April through May, but we got it in and up and fertilized and sprayed. I've spent the past week drilling 100 acres worth of sorghum-sudangrass (sudex), the first of which has already started to emerge. If all goes as planned, we'll cut and chop it all before we begin chopping corn and then harvest it a second time as hay or baleage (and may graze some of it). We aren't planning to hay quite as much bermudagrass this year, but we are in-between the first and second full cutting on our best hay fields. 

Well, it looks like my lunch break is about over and it's time to head back to the dairy. I'll leave y'all with a few recent photos I've taken around the farm. Have a good'un!

drone shot taken from the southwest corner of the farm

drone shot taken at sunset after a rain (dairy barn on right)

good ol' Ms Nosey is still hanging around

our sorghum-sudangrass has started to emerge and will be a key part of our forage program this year

No comments: