Eden Shale Farm Update - July 2018
Rarely in Kentucky do we get better weather windows to make hay than we did this past month. To start the month of June at Eden Shale we had eight consecutive days with no rain. We then had half an inch, followed by another 6 days of dry weather. During that time period I don’t think there was a hay field anywhere in Kentucky that wasn’t baled!
So far, the hay has turned out better than expected in both quantity and quality. Our wheat that we wrapped made 66 bales this year, where as it usually makes around 40. The first cutting also made slightly more than usual but we did apply a little more fertilizer this spring. One thing I did notice was the hay was not overly mature as you would expect in June. The long slow start to the growing season put the grass far enough behind that it was not fully mature when we cut it. The mower hardly had any seeds on it at all. As always, we will get the hay analyzed to know exactly what we have, but my first impression is that it is better than in years past.
During the hay making frenzy our tractors from H&R Agri Power hit the maximum hours allowed. I called them up and requested two more and they had them delivered the next week. I would like to thank H&R Agri Power for their continued support of Eden Shale by allowing us access to quality tractors. We truly appreciate it.
This summer we are conducting a demonstration with cull cows. We currently have 24 cull cows that were purchased from the stockyards that are grazing in the paddocks. They are broken into groups of 4 head and are grazing different treatments. Two groups are in Chaparral treated paddocks, two groups are in clover renovated paddocks, and two are in the control paddocks. The cows are being weighted and body condition scored after each rotation through their 3 paddock assignment for 60 days, at which point they will be harvested through the Beef Solutions program. We also have 20 head in the barn that are broken into 4 groups and are being fed two different rations. They too are being weighed and will be harvested for Beef Solutions. Stay tuned for the results of this demonstration.
In other activity, we have three big construction projects getting ready to kick off with Dr. Higgins. These are some new and innovative techniques for winter feeding and water harvesting. Holding true to the purpose of Eden Shale, these new projects are completely different than anything we have done at the farm to date, and you are going to want to come see them in the fall at our Open House Field Day. Stay tuned for more information about these projects and others that will be featured at the Open House Field Day on October 13th.