November 27, 2021

From the Barns: Days get shorter

We’ve gone from too dry to grow grass to too wet to do anything to we better hurry before the ground freezes, all in the last month. So, now that the weather has straightened out there’s no shortage of things to do. The football season ended and so before basketball got started we seized a window of opportunity to gather the last set of unworked calves from our north pasture. That pasture is a tough gather. Big lakes, lots of timber and brush and a set of cows that’s seen this game before make for an eventful gather.

Nate and Drew invited some extra horse folks to join in the fun. I cranked up the predawn fire to fight off the chill of a late October morning as the cowboys gathered up and laid out their plan of attack. We had some local talent and some out-of-towners that traveled in from clear out in Des Moines for the event. Wisely, I had invited our local horse enthusiast who also is the local nurse practitioner — first aid might be necessary.

The event went smoothly, with Linda and sidelined cowboys Ian and Morgan acting as camp cooks and keeping everyone in food and drinks. With that bunch of calves getting worked we now will turn our attention to revaccinating and weaning as time allows. Janet, our new cattle feeder/cow gatherer, has been drinking from a fire hose since she joined up and is settling in to pace around here.

Wrapping up harvest and getting manure pumped is a major concern as the days get shorter. The fat market has slowly edged higher and feed prices have moderated to make profitability seem within reach again. Shipping fats has been steady and receiving incoming feeders has found me out at the feedlot late at night many evenings lately.

The stars seem so much brighter at 2 a.m. on a chilly October night. I see it’s pinking up in the east. I better move it on up to HQ and get the day set into motion.

Steve Foglesong

Steve Foglesong

Astoria, Ill.