June 12, 2024

From the Pastures: Learn and earn profits

I was just having so much fun with the minus-15 temperatures and 20 mph winds last month that I just forgot to write an article. Well, the last part is true. Things have been mundane around here — unroll hay, break ice and fill water tanks.

I unroll the hay so all the sheep can eat at once and not have to fight for feeder space. They can pick out the good stuff and leave the bad hay. It gives the sheep and guard dogs a dry, warm bedding pack. And, finally, I can determine where the manure and urine is deposited by where I unroll the hay. Plus, in the spring I have ground cover to conserve moisture and help the grass sprouts to grow.

The upcoming meetings that I know of are:

• Feb. 16 — Dudley Smith Farm Winter Meeting at the Christian County Extension office in Taylorville, Illinois.

• Feb. 19-20 — Heart of America Grazing Conference in Ohio at Greenacres Foundation, which is close to Cincinnati.

• Jo Daviess County Extension is having two Zoom meetings, “Selling Meat in Illinois” on one Feb. 29 and “Sheep and Goat Internal Parasite Management” on March 14. Call the office at 815-858-2273 or register online at go.illinois.edu/jsw.

• Illinois Lamb and Wool Producers is holding its annual meeting from 8:15 a.m. to noon on Saturday, March 2, in Room 131 of the Department of Animal Sciences building, 1207 Gregory Drive, Urbana.

• March 12-13 — Illinois Grazing Lands Coalition is holding the 2024 Grazing Conference, “The Hidden Benefits and Profitability of Illinois Grazing Operations,” at the Northfield Inn, Suites and Conference Center in Springfield. Visit www.illinoisgrazingconference.com or contact logan@ilgrazinglands.org.

• March 27 — Southern Indiana Grazing Conference in Odon, Indiana. Call the Daviess County Soil and Water Conservation District at 812-254-4780, Ext. 3.

I hope this helps some of you learn profitable ways of raising livestock. Whether you raise cows, sheep or goats, there is profit and enjoyment in them. Remember, each day we are getting closer to springtime.

Elton Mau

Elton Mau

Arrowsmith, Ill.