May 21, 2024

From the Barns: Fat market back up

We live back in the woods, so the only time I witness the sun rise is when we get started at o-dark-thirty and get out and about on the ranch somewhere. Turkey season came in mid-April and is soon to wrap up. With several grandsons that are avid turkey hunters, I have not missed any sun-ups in quite a while. With reveille at 4:30 every morning and some of the evening track meets keeping us out until 10 o’clock, my candle wick is burning at both ends and getting mighty short.

It is a good thing calving has been progressing flawlessly. All our manure has been applied for weeks and corn planting has been pretty simple until the recent rains have brought that project to a standstill. The cows are keeping the wheat we seeded on crop ground at bay in most fields, but one farm that was really bare when I applied manure way back in February has gone nuts and the wheat is getting away from the cows. I expect we will have to mow and chop some acres there to let us do some pre-planting tillage before we can get the corn planted. If we just had cows that did not leave tracks this system would be simple.

The fat market has strengthened back up after cattle buyers used the chicken flu as an excuse to buy them cheaper for a few weeks. It is always interesting how any bad press leads to an immediate rapid break in prices that will take weeks to overcome once the “event” becomes old news. Same song, different verse.

Pasture conditions are great as we would expect for this time of year. We have been applying DuraCor to knock out musk thistles and it has been working great. Our brush control team is out in the wooded pastures any spare minutes we have and are doing basal bark treatments with Remedy on locust, honeysuckle and Russian olive and I am happy to report it is working great. The bushes we treated all winter are dead or dying. Grass is growing under the dead skeletons of the trees and I feel we can remove those dead trees next year once the chemical has completely killed the roots. Brush control is a time-consuming process and patience is necessary to see the results.

Steve Foglesong

Steve Foglesong

Astoria, Ill.