Jane and I spent a week in September on the Outer Banks of
North Carolina. I was not appreciative of the endless miles of beach houses and
the tourist traps, nor the Atlantic. I did enjoy the quiet time to read and
relax. While we were gone we received a rain that has been a definite boost to
late-planted crops and our stockpiled pastures. We had another nice rain on Oct.
4. So far, we have escaped the cold, and that means more time to graze the reed
canary grass paddocks before a killing frost, a significant factor for us to
reach corn stubble grazing and then stockpiled pastures without needing to feed
harvested forage. Our replacement heifers are looking very much more like, well,
replacement heifers, rather than just yearling and a half heifers.
The last several days we have furiously harvested hedge
posts. This project serves to remove the last undesirable trees from our managed
forests. The side benefit, of course, is that the posts are the very best for
building permanent fences and, better yet, last a lifetime. We hope we have
enough available to fill all our orders, several of which require No. 1 quality
to build cattle working corrals.
The grain-growing segment of agriculture seems to have
dominated our state recently, land prices have continued to rise, marginal lands
are under tillage and forage production and pasture areas have disappeared.
Therefore, it is inspiring to have conversations and share expertise with
landowners and cattlemen who are striving to maximize returns from pastures
rather than turning them over to the fatal plow. These forward-looking operators
are learning that superior management and rotational grazing hold the key to
long-term success and returns that can challenge the continuous capital and
environmental demands of large-scale grain farming. The possibility of beautiful
pastures full of beautiful cattle grazing is one I hope for as our grazing
technology evolves. It is right, it is good and it is sustainable. Be calm, be
safe and enjoy a beautiful fall season.