I cautiously feel like winter is finally over. Pastures have greened up, and the cows are spending far less time at the feed line and most of their day scattered to every corner of the pasture nibbling at anything resembling green grass. The mud around our feeding areas is a nonstarter for baby calves, and I’m concerned the mud clinging to the underbelly of some of the cows will be a problem during the initial nursing for some of the calves. We have delayed calving more and more and so far have only a handful of calves, but a late winter snowstorm would not be welcome now as the majority of the cows are really heavy and due to drop calves any day.
We have been sorting last year’s calf crop the last several weeks and sold off some big steers to make some space in the barn for the last of the calves that needed weaning. The smaller end of the yearlings are heading back to grass, and the ones considered too big have been repackaged, re-implanted and headed to market ASAP.
We have been aggressively marketing finished cattle and taking advantage of the higher market prices. A common theme in conversations with our feedlot customers has been the muddy conditions everywhere in the country and the desire to get cattle somewhere on concrete — I couldn’t agree more.
Getting a little manure out of the barn has been a challenge. Spreading on frozen ground is taboo, and wet field conditions are a no go, as well. We have been picking little windows of opportunity and have spread enough on sod in the pasture to squeak by, but a good two-day run on a cornfield would sure be nice. Manure hauling, corn planting and calving will all happen on about the same day, I expect.
All the wheat we seeded last fall is growing like mad, and we will have to decide soon whether we will graze it out or harvest it. Either way, we will be planting either corn or sorghum/Sudan after the wheat is gone. Those acres will make for some later season manure hauling, as well, and it looks like we will need it.
My granddaughter and former employee, Haley, married her best friend and my former employee, Jared, a couple of weeks ago, and they asked me to be the preacher for the ceremony. It was my honor to officiate at the ceremony and has been a real pleasure to watch these two grow up here at the ranch. Jared had worked here since he was in junior high and became a good hand before he went to lineman school and went to work for the power company. Haley has been a fixture on our ranch for many years and decided to try out a new career along with a husband at the same time. While they never “dated” over the many years they worked together, the courtship lasted what many observers thought was an eternity. You can lead a horse to water, but…