July 15, 2024

From the Barns: Already feeding

We have not received any real precipitation since we started chopping corn, so the dusty roads have been an issue, but on the flip side we haven’t had the chain hooked to trucks yet. Harvest has been long, but for a good reason. There’s a lot of corn out there, much more than we expected with the limited rainfall we’ve had all summer. The enormous corn silage pile is a good thing, because while dry field conditions have made for a speedy harvest, the lack of rain has wrecked our pastures and we are feeding the cows already.

Our normal overseeding of wheat into crop ground has not started due to the lack of moisture. If we see the weather pattern change, we may still plant some wheat, but wasting seed on a whole bunch of acres hasn’t made sense.

I just got back from the mountains of New Mexico for our annual elk hunting trip with my good neighbor LJ. Spending time high in the mountains seems to get me to thinking of all the projects I’d to do when I return — now if I can just have the energy to see them through!

We’re moving the cows through what limited forage that’s left post harvest in addition to the supplemental feed we are hauling each day. We will consider weaning some calves, especially those on the first calf heifers, but time and age are a good thing for weaning calves and we are going to be feeding them somewhere, so why not while they are nursing the cows?

The fat cattle market has tried to slip a little recently, but demand is still strong. Reduced feed prices have helped with profitability and the big runs of feeder cattle are just around the corner. The big spread between beef and pork prices has me scratching my head and it seems like the two will have to move more toward the center at some point.

Most evenings and weekends, Linda and I are doing our grandparent thing and cheering on one of the sports teams’ events, and just when I was mourning the football season coming to a close, I got the basketball schedule — wow, I may never hit the recliner again!

The pits on our livestock building are nearing capacity, so manure pumping is in our sights. The dry soils will make manure application simple and I’m looking forward to getting started. Please, be safe and enjoy a great harvest season.

Steve Foglesong

Steve Foglesong

Astoria, Ill.