September 28, 2021

From the Barns: Life is good

Another conference call this morning for some final plans for the Heart of America Grazing Conference to be held in Mount Vernon. This event has now been moved to Aug. 11-12, 2021. Let’s hope this can be held despite COVID-19 and all can hear the tremendous lineup of speakers. More about this as plans have changed and new ones are made.

My last report on the new South 20 project is that everything is complete except the dry dams, but I think they will be complete Saturday or perhaps some mulching on Sunday. I thought I would like how everything came together and how all of it looks and I am not disappointed. Just hope the Natural Resources Conservation Service staff thinks it is all correct, as well. I really like the way the white fiberglass posts show the fence lines, but without a pointed end, the hand driving was a challenge. My hired help and I shared the chore and found a very hard dry layer about 6 inches down that was very tough. Overall, the whole project has gone very well.

Our heifer population is only 80 breds right now and changes every few days with sales and deliveries. The corn residue grazing is just completed. We allotted 4 acres every other day for the 120 head and they did a thorough job, leaving very little of value. A little temporary fencing keeps the heifers from experiencing a “feast or famine” scenario where cattle in a large open field search out and consume all the corn, best stuff and the grass in the fence rows and then have only the less palatable residue remaining for several days. That is not a healthy or happy situation.

My row crop farmer friends are happy and quiet. If you ask, they will tell you why: excellent yields, dry and comfortable harvest weather, dry crops, excellent prices, time for fall tillage and a government that looks out for them. Life is good, even though it is still 2020.

With the election over and some decisions made, at least as I write this, do you suppose we can get some peace and quiet from the information overload? Our numerous media outlets are sure trying hard to have anarchy and chaos everywhere in this country. But I am betting it won’t happen here in rural Illinois, where our values and our trust in God and country are as they should be — strong. Stay safe and give sincere thanks this month for all that you hold dear.

Macomb, Ill.