October 19, 2021

From the Barns: As fast as we can

It finally dried out enough for us to complete our corn planting and wheat chopping and have a good start to hay making. Unfortunately, it all happened at once. We will now turn our attention back to manure pumping on the harvested wheat acres and follow that with more corn planting.

I expect the wheat we are growing for harvest — and ultimately seed — is still a month off, and that will let us relax our pace a little. We will follow that chapter of wheat harvest with manure and corn, as well, and we will need some timely rains to make it all work. It’s hard to comprehend, but aerial seeding on the recently planted corn acres needs to start in 60 days. Seems like we never quit planting.

With the prices for chops going nuts, cash grain sales look pretty appealing. Getting the cows fed all winter with a minimum of corn silage looks to be a good play for this year. Utilizing crop aftermath and stockpiled grass works well, provided we don’t get a huge snowfall. Fertilizing pastures this summer to maximize growth of extra winter forage has already begun and will pay big dividends, provided we get rainfall throughout the summer.

We’ve turned out extra heifers to breed with the thought of growing the non-breeders on grass and defer the grain portion of their diet until fall when corn will be cheaper. Delaying the start of calving until mid-April yields lots of May and June calves, which isn’t a bother except we like to be done calving before we vaccinate the calves and our summer help is anxious to get started gathering and working calves.

With the high feed prices, getting market-ready cattle gone as quickly as we can is a priority, but it seems like everyone in the feeding industry is thinking the same thing and getting extra loads of cattle booked for harvest is virtually impossible. With all the new calves running around in the pastures, you’d think granddaughter Haley would get the idea, but as of last night still no baby at the Lascelles household. Hopefully by next month I will have some calving information to report.

Steve Foglesong

Steve Foglesong

Astoria, Ill.