June 12, 2024

From the Pastures: Protect the soil

Spring has sprung. I’m glad to be done feeding hay and am now grazing cereal rye and red clover. Some of the rye is in the flag leaf stage already. I have rye that is 10 inches tall right next to 30-inch tall rye, so I need to get it grazed. I put a dry hay bale in a trailer that can be moved to each lot so the sheep have some dry roughage to mix with the washy lush green forage. This helps their rumen stay balanced. I’m also supplementing with some soy hull pellets for roughage and a little protein. The pellets will end after the first lambs arrive.

This is the second dry spring in a row that I’ve had. In March, my neighbor to the east took out some trees and never made a rut with the equipment. He burned the trees and buried the root balls in a 20-foot-deep hole. He told me he never ran into any moisture the whole way down — now that is dry, especially for March.

When it starts to rain, it’s going to be a muddy mess, at least I hope so. That’s one of the reasons I unrolled the hay, to conserve soil moisture that I do have and protect the soil from the raindrops when the rains do come.

Remember to sign up for the wool loan deficiency payment program before you shear, or you might not get paid. Remember, it is a government program. I have the shearer scheduled for April 25 and according to the sonograms, I should have lambs coming May 10. Enjoy the spring weather.

Elton Mau

Elton Mau

Arrowsmith, Ill.