March left us still on the wet side here in southern Illinois. We only logged in around 5 inches of rain total, but it started wet and it seems like it almost will start to dry right before we get another shower. The temperatures are starting to moderate some, and that is allowing the grass to slowly get started. The color is there, but it is still well behind the cows as growth is concerned. I am supplementing hay on a limited basis.
The breeding season has arrived, and the A.I. breeding has been completed. The cows have been sorted into their breeding groups according to their age and their parentage. The bulls will be turned out in 14 days to cleanup what the A.I. breeding had missed. I have high hopes for good conception rates from A.I. breeding. The cows were in great shape and seemed very active when they came through for insemination. The herd bulls are going to be loaded heavy this year, so let’s hope for the best.
This year’s cover crops survived the muck of our winter, and I am just a couple weeks away from putting up barley and triticale for haylage. This is the first year I have tried either of these cereal grains. The volume looks great on the triticale. It will be good to compare the two on tonnage and nutritional value.
Angela and I had the privilege to host a group of animal science students from MurrayStateUniversity to our farm for a tour. Dr. Amanda Davis brought a handful of graduate and undergraduates with open minds eager to learn the different aspects of being a cattleman. We discussed management and marketing, as well as the highs and lows of everyday life on the ranch. It was great to share my knowledge and experiences with students and answer their questions. It’s great that they have a chance to see what we do firsthand. There is only so much that that they can learn from a book or an instructor. Seeing it in color paints a whole different picture.