September 26, 2021

From the Pastures: On the brighter side

Hello from soggy central Illinois. The rain keeps coming, the grass keeps growing and I can’t get my wheat combined. The dry hay I’d made on the summer pasture finally got put inside the barn in between rain events. However, the waterway I want to bale just can’t get enough dry days in a row to cut and bale.

I ran the whole flock through the chutes and over the scale to weigh, body score and check their health last week. The lambs are doing good, gaining weight and are plump. However, I have four old ewes that have developed mastitis and needed a penicillin shot. I think they got it from lying under the hay racks I use as shade racks. The ground under the racks has a lot of manure and urine on it by the second day and I think that’s where the germs are coming from. I’m thinking I need to move the rack daily, maybe in the 25th hour of my day.

When I do get the wheat combined I’ll drill in a five to eight species cover crop mix to finish my lambs on this fall and also flush the old ewes for breeding. As I write this, it’s raining again, the third day in a row, and the weather forecast calls for only two dry days in the next seven days. Well, at least we are not in drought like the guys out west. They are really hurting. When I was 10 years old our, old neighbor said, “Hump, I always grew more corn in a wet year than a dry year!” Good advice to remember when it’s too wet to combine wheat.

The Heart of America Grazing Conference is only four weeks away. Early registration ends Aug. 3, so call 618-526-7815, ext. 3, to register and save money. Go to a local county fair and have some fun. Smile.

Elton Mau

Elton Mau

Arrowsmith, Ill.