Most years, we are well into chopping silage and hurrying so the corn doesn’t get too dry on us. This year, not so much. If we get started by the first of October, I will be surprised. While the cool weather has been much to the liking of this somewhat hefty writer, it has not been conducive to maturing the corn crop. The sorghum-sudangrass we planted after wheat harvest is working out great. It’s about shoulder high and really growing. I expect we will harvest this crop right after the frost finishes it off. Some of our early planted sorghum will possibly be the first thing we chop. What a crazy year!
We weaned a couple loads of our Georgia calves right on the truck and shipped them straight to Illinois. We had a little pneumonia show up about 10 days in, but the calves responded well to treatment and are now out on pasture with supplemental feed. Drew and I are going to make a flying trip back to Georgia to snag a couple more loads so that project is completed before we get into harvest.
The cattle on feed have been increasing on intake with this cooler weather. We have had a couple respiratory issues flare up, probably caused by the same cool weather. Customer cattle are moving in steadily depending on pasture conditions where they are being held out on the farm. October looks to be a big, busy month. Pasture conditions all summer have been just awesome, and the cows and calves look the part. I expect some heavy weights come weaning time.
I like to share screw ups in this column, as well as successes, and I learned a valuable lesson recently that I would like to prevent any other reader repeating. We seed sorghum-sudangrass all the time by blending it with urea fertilizer and then spreading it with an air flow seeder followed by incorporation with a soil finisher. The lesson: We started working the wheat field up for seeding. I called Joe at FS and said “mix it and bring it out.” He did. After the fact, we realized we couldn’t get the wheat stubble to work down without an extra pass, and being late Friday afternoon, I sent the seed and fertilizer mix back to town while we got the field in shape over the weekend. That turned out to be a good-intentioned, big boo-boo.
Evidently, urea over 48 hours kills off seed — and I mean all of it. The dry spell we went through masked the issue as I was thinking the soil was too dry for germination. By the time I figured out what had happened, it was too late to replant. Not all was lost, however. I just used the field to pump manure on, and as soon as it dries out, we will seed wheat and, possibly, turnips for fall grazing.
As I continue to hobble around as I recuperate from the dumb stuff of the previous season, I feel compelled to remind everyone to be safe as we charge headlong into fall harvest.