May 20, 2024

Harre farm family growing

NASHVILLE, Ill. — Nick Harre wasn’t able to do his morning chores on Nov. 2.

“My alarm went off at 4:30 a.m. and Andrea was standing there and she said, ‘I don’t think you better go,’ so we went to the hospital,” he said.

Lane wasn’t due to make an appearance for another week, but he arrived in quick fashion, just over an hour after Andrea and Nick got to the hospital. The newest addition to the Harre family weighed 8 pounds and 1 ounce.

Lane was welcomed home by big brother Declan, 3.

“He’s a little heavier than Declan was when he was born and he has a little more hair than Declan had,” Nick said.

Declan has taken the new arrival in stride, with some reassurance needed from mom and dad.

“He gets it. For him, it’s been more of an independence thing. There are things he’s been doing by himself for several months now, and now that the baby’s here, he wants mom and dad’s help,” Nick said.

It was a busy week, that first week in November.

“We finished everything on Nov. 3 or 4. We had corn left and double-crop beans. The double crops came on in a hurry. They ripened really quick. They weren’t ready to call it quits, but between the drought and then the one frost we had, their lives got cut short. It was about the earliest that double crops have been ready,” Nick said.

He said the yield on the double-crop beans was less than great.

“I think they had a lot of potential. There were actually quite a few beans. They were just really small. Early on in the year, things were shaping up where it was going to be a pretty good crop, but the second half of their lives was not good,” he said.

On the bright side, the Harres finished corn harvest and that crop came in better than expected.

“The corn shook out. It surprised a lot of people. If not for last year, which was great, this year would have been close to setting a record for us on corn. It wasn’t as good as last year, but it was still phenomenal,” Nick said.

Haying is done for the year, with the sixth cutting of hay not materializing. But Nick found a way to make what would have been the sixth cutting work.

“One of the fields next to the pasture, I put up a fence around it and so we have cows out there grazing it right now. There still is some feed there, not enough to make it worth getting everything out and mowing and chopping it, but they are getting something out of it still,” he said.

In the barns, calving has picked up and work on the old freestall barn is complete.

“We got the flush system installed in that and part of that barn was converted to a hospital pen and a maternity pen,” Nick said.

While milk production picks up as the weather gets cooler, calving can put a temporary slowdown on production.

“The weather would favor more milk right now, but it depends on where the cows are at. As the cows get closer to their dry period, they tend to taper off in production. Then, when a cow calves, they don’t hit their peak milk until a little further into their lactation,” Nick said.

“When you have a lot of cows who are just about dry and about to calve and ones that have just calved, you are dealing with their natural cycle, as well.”

Jeannine Otto

Jeannine Otto

Field Editor