May and June are always busy for the Kentucky farmer, and Eden Shale has been a flurry of activity the past two months. Besides all the work that Dr Higgins is doing at the farm (discussed in the previous post), we have been busy breeding cows, making hay, planting plots, and spraying pastures.
You wouldn’t guess it by this picture, but this field gets a lot of tall iron weed as the summer progresses. Pastures can be deceiving in the spring when everything looks green and perfect, but the reality is there are weeds that are growing in those nice looking fields that will soon shoot up and present a problem. To combat the iron weed this field was sprayed with GrazonNext in late May to help alleviate the problem.
May was also when we bred all of our cows and heifers. This year we AI everything and are using cleanup bulls to cover any the AI might have missed. Dr Les Anderson bred the heifers and Genetics Plus did the breeding of the cows. All together we bred 102 head.
I would like to thank KBN Facilitators Ron Shrout and Heath Mineer who came to help us breed both groups of cows.
Here Greg and Cody (the red heeler) are putting the heifers back into the paddocks. Later the heifers are enjoying a cool evening and the lush green grass in the paddocks.
Hay production this year at ESF has been a tricky task. With only having one tractor it has been a logistical challenge to get the hay baled, the plots planted, and pastures sprayed. We had to get the rye grass in the bottom harvested so that we could make room for the ½ acre forage plots and the sorghum sudan grass to be planted. The rye grass was wrapped to make haylage.
Once the rye grass was harvested Tracy Hamilton (with USDA) planted the ½ acre plots and the sorghum sudan grass. This has allowed us to utilize the entire bottom area for hay production.
We have also rolled some dry hay after getting the bottom planted. This field is one that we renovated into the BarOptima novel endophyte fescue.
The hay was thick and should be of very good quality. And you know, there is just something pleasing about a perfectly shaped bale of hay.
We also found a spare hour to rehang our farm sign. The wind had blown it down back in the winter and we had not had a chance to get it back up. This time we framed the entire thing in 2x4’s making it much stronger than it was. Hopefully it will now be able to withstand those strong Owen County winds.
Thank goodness May and June have such long days, because it takes every bit of the extra daylight to get things accomplished. And it’s nice at the end of a long day when you get rewarded with a beautiful sunset.
Hello, my name is Dan Miller and I work for the Kentucky Beef Network. KBN took over operation of the Eden Shale Farm in April of 2013. We are using the 961 acre farm as a demonstration and learning center for beef cattle producers. This blog serves as a place to document daily farm activity and host discussions about the demonstrations being implemented. I hope you find this information useful and that you come visit us at Eden Shale Farm.