Hello from Graze-N-Grow. I’m no weatherman, but I predict we have seen the last of those 90-plus degree days for a while. With freezing temps in the forecast, we pulled the ram lambs from the cover crops to avoid the prussic acid, although it’s not been cold enough so far to kill the sorghum/sudan in the mix. There is also some turnip regrowth I hope to graze again once the freeze is completed. Fall grazing continues to be blessed with ample moisture, and cattle and sheep are grateful, I think.
Our corn is ready for harvest when the combine gets here and the late planted beans need a freeze to speed up the drying. I still plan on following the beans with wheat, even at this late date. Reports of extra good yields in both crops are common this fall, as the markets have anticipated. The lamb market, as well, is in the doldrums, and since we have lost our two biggest repeat customers last year, we have overproduced for our direct market. While we see some additional on-farm sales, they haven’t yet made up the difference. So, I think it’s time to do a little deeper culling here.
My fall to-do list is being tackled, and I’m now into building a portable hoop house for our pasture egg layers. It will be on skids and deep bedded for wintertime and moved on pastures closer to home following the sheep and or cattle next growing season. One of Ruth’s projects, I hope. We just had our pastured broilers processed at Brummel’s Poultry Processing in RockFalls this month, and they did a good job for us. We raise them mostly for ourselves and family, but others like that they are organically fed and moved every day to fresh grass, so we’ve gained some additional demand. Usually, we can average around 5 pounds per bird at eight weeks, but this year they broke the record at 6.3 pounds with no death loss or cripples that sometimes happens with accelerated growth.
Since I sold the wood-burning boiler last summer, I no longer have to cut firewood, so my timber stand improvement project on Ruth’s grandparents’ farm will slow down considerably. It has, however, made grazing much better where we’ve cleared. This pasture is great for keeping breeding rams separate, as well as wintering some cows as needed. I hope the weather allows for all of us to catch up on some projects beyond the harvest schedule. Be safe. Happy trails.