September 21, 2023

From the Pastures: When the wind blows

Well, I’ve sold and loaded out lambs twice in the last 30 days, so now all I have left is the replacement ewe lambs to feed and two steers. I started them on the eight-species cover crop field Nov. 19 and they should stay in that field until the middle of January.

This mild winter has been great. I did move two shade and wind protection racks out to their field last week when I had sustained 20 to 30 mph winds for several days. The field they are in does not have a tree around for miles, so they needed a break from the wind. It must have been 10 degrees warmer on the lee side of those racks with the sun shining on me. I know I appreciated it. Maybe the windmill company knew something when they put 275 wind turbines all around my area.

The old ewes are finishing cleaning up a farmstead that is in the middle of a section 10 miles away with the Sangamon River and a railroad track running through it. One section of the farm is heavily wooded and I saw a coyote that was the size of a Labrador dog in those woods last week. It’s time to bring them home and put the rams in with them. They will probably go into the corn stalk field that had the three-species cover crops flown over the standing corn in August. The forage is 4 to 6 inches tall and will make a nice place to breed the ewes.

I don’t have any neighbors with cover crops to graze this year like I did last year. That mix of cover crops last year from ProHarvest Seeds really worked good through an ice storm and into January, February and March. As an example the dairy steer that I had with the ewe flock during that time averaged 2 pounds per day weight gain with no grain just forage and he tastes real good.

Remember that Jesus is the reason for this season, not Santa or shopping. But do have a happy and merry Christmas.

Elton Mau

Elton Mau

Arrowsmith, Ill.