I know it has been a challenging spring to get anything accomplished. With record amounts of rainfall and copious amounts of mud, this has been one tough spring. But now that we are getting some sunshine and the grass has started to grow, we can take a deep breath and be glad that winter is long since passed.
The cattle at ESF are enjoying the new growth of grass. They have not been eating any hay for about two weeks now and we still have some left over for next year. Most of the calving is done at this point. We still have 10 cows left to calve but everything else is on the ground. All 8 heifers that we retained and developed two years ago had a live calf, and all of them were delivered unassisted. These girls are not camera shy.
We have worked all the cows that have calves on the ground. On April 15th we vaccinated and dewormed the heifers, and we had Dr Parker at the farm to tract score and pelvic measure them as well. That same day we also had Dr Parker do a Breeding Soundness Exam (BSE) on our bulls before we turn them out to start breeding next month. KBN Field Associates Ron Shrout and Heath Mineer came that day to help us work the cows.
On April 18th we had a YPC Field Day covering herd health topics. As part of this field day we vaccinated and dewormed the cows. Attendees were able to get hands on experience with giving shots, pulling ear notch and blood samples, and they were BQA certified as part of the field day. The weather was beautiful and the day was a huge success.
As for other activity at the farm, Tracy with USDA, has been doing some spraying and fertilizing of some of the demos. The rye grass down in the bottom is looking good and should make us some good haylage this spring.
We received our first load of wood chips at the farm that will allow us to start composting any deads that we have. We had a couple calves this year that are in this pile already.
We finally got the mess at the wire pile cleaned up and ready to be seeded down. We cut a lot of firewood out of the trees that they pushed over, but now everything is pushed up into one big pile that can be burnt once it dries down a little bit.
Greg also had an exciting morning during one of those days when the rains just wouldn’t stop. There was a young man driving to work in Owenton and he was a little bit late and running a little too fast for the wet roadway. He came around the curve by the field day barn, slide off the road, and ended up in the corner of the barn.
He was not injured and his truck was drivable, although only after they pried the fender away from the tire. The barn however did not fare so well. He ended up taking out the main support beam in that corner of the barn, as well as a couple other support post and two sliding doors. We are currently working through his insurance to get the barn replaced. As close to the road as this barn sits, I am surprised that this doesn’t happen more often.
If you come to the farm in the next couple of weeks, don’t look for the Eden Shale Farm sign on the corner of Hwy 22. One of the severe thunder storms that we have up there this month managed to rip our sign off the posts.
The wind blew the sign across the road and bent it a little, but it is good enough to be rehung. But until we get it back up, just look for the twin 4x4 posts.
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.