Well, we should have grass. Fortunately, we took advantage of the few dry days we’ve had and got plenty of manure pumped out of our barn to be comfortable until we get the wheat harvested. We are grazing wheat with all the cow groups that can get access to crop fields. We have pulled the cows off the fields that we will cut for feed, or harvest for this fall’s seed.
We intend to follow the wheat with sorghum/sudan and maybe a field or two of late corn — if it keeps raining, it may not be all that late. Last weekend’s weather forecast was for rain, and they were spot on this time. Big Mike and I decided to take off Sunday and make a flying trip south to our Georgia operation. We had some underutilized equipment hanging around down there, and with the planting crush coming eventually, we loaded up some extra horsepower and sent it north where it will find full-time employment.
When it does dry out, we will be planting corn and seeding our summer annual forage all at the same time, so extra equipment will come in handy. We are going to try some teff grass this year, mostly on areas we tore up feeding cows. More on that as the season continues. We’ve been marketing finished cattle as quickly as possible. The market has been good, and the cattle have done really well.
We are so blessed to be able to finish under the roof, on concrete, in our barn. Just about all my feeder friends out west are complaining about the poor closeouts on the cattle fed through the winter. The cold certainly was a factor, but wet muddy pens is what everyone agrees hit them the hardest, and all the rain still has pen conditions in a wreck.
Our cows are calving full tilt right now. So far, everything has gone well with only two head in Linda’s bottle calf pen. I’ve concluded that a four-time mom and 12-time grandma is the only creature on earth capable of having enough patience to get those dumb calves to nurse. I gladly concede the title of champion bottle calf raiser to my wife — she’s awesome!
It won’t be long until we are gearing up for vaccinating our calf crop. I’m struggling with what to do and use on the calves. We double-vaccinated every hoof on the ranch last year and yet still treated nearly every calf, too. For all the work and heartache handling the calves, I expect to not treat our ranch-raised calves. Something is going to change, that I’m sure of.
I’ve been gone, but the family has been rubbing it in that the mushrooms are everywhere and much tastier than in previous years. While they may be making that part up, this wet weather seems to be good for something.