March 20, 2023

From the Barns: Certified scooper

First off, on the new baby front, both my granddaughter, Allyson, and my niece, Carla, had their babies on Feb. 12 at virtually the same time — one, a boy named Krew, and a little girl named Kolbi. All are doing fine and I got to see them yesterday as we celebrated my mom Carolyn’s 90th birthday. Obviously, spelling was not a priority for the aforementioned moms in their education as neither one can spell their kid’s names right!

Meanwhile back at the ranch, we have been dealing with a bunch of corn I got bought out of a disaster at an elevator, and while it will help to keep feed cost down there is some hassle managing logistics and storage.

The mild early March weather has lent itself to weaning and preg checking, so we’ve about got that project wrapped up. We won’t start calving until mid-April, but it’s time to be getting the cow groups sorted around to the pastures where we want them to have their new calves. Preg checking has gone great with less than expected open cows to sell off. We were really hard on any dry cows we found earlier last summer, but all in all we will have more first-calf heifers than cull cows, so our cow herd will have a net gain for this year. Getting cow numbers matched to available pasture needs to be a priority.

The fat market continues to move higher and at a great time as we have been selling very aggressively. The premiums being offered for cattle on the rail have been getting slimmer, but the cash market has been better and the cattle yields have been super, so figuring out that balance has kept Nate really occupied lately.

It finally got muddy enough to curtail our manure application for a minute, but we’ve been seizing any window of opportunity. A day wasted is a day lost is especially true when it comes to manure application. Keegan and I went to Pittsfield the other day and took our certified manure managers test. We were both successful and now we have not one, but two certified poop scoopers on staff. Guess who won’t be as interested next time recertification rolls around? Yet another thing I’m happy to yield to a new generation.

Steve Foglesong

Steve Foglesong

Astoria, Ill.