Oh Kentucky; springtime in your midst is a hopeful and promising time. A time to plan and aspire for better conditions going into next season.
The sun warms and the grass grows, and with hopeful regularity a gentle shower of rain crescents the shimmering waves of green forage.
With your lush hillsides you tease us into thinking we may harvest your bountiful excess of green grass you have bestowed us. But it is a trick!
With the thought of full hay barns, you lure us into mowing your fields only to have it precipitate unexpectedly as the baler is being pulled from its winter slumber of the barn.
To our neighbors we go; to borrow a small piece of hope. To fluff up our chances, and scatter about the idea that the crop is not lost.
The tedder tries to fight off the oppressing humidity, but Oh Kentucky, you do not relent! Through scattered showers and hazy hills we remain optimistic for the balers return.
And when it returns, chasing windrows and spitting out green bales of promise,
we pray for mechanical stability of at least one more day.
The appearance of the challenge has faded, but not the need to work diligently to secure the fruits of our labor and reduce the exposure for our new winter stockpile.
With hay barns full and equipment put away, we delight as dark clouds build in the western sky.
Its then Oh Kentucky, that we thank you for a bountiful harvest from your rolling hillsides.
Spring time is hectic at the farm, and this year’s mild weather has allowed us to be productive. With the help of some fertilizer and sunshine we were able to turn the heifers out on the paddocks a little early this year. There are 32 replacement heifers that will graze through the paddocks as part of a two year study conducted by USDA-ARS. I will go into more detail on this project next month.
Back in April we had our vet (Dr. Matt Parker) to the farm to pelvic measure our replacement heifers as well as perform a Breeding Soundness Exam on our cleanup bulls. All the bulls passed the BSE and only two heifers failed the pelvic measurement. While coming through the chute all the heifers got their pre-breeding shots, deworming, and fly tagging. The cows followed several weeks later for the same pre-breeding regimen of shots, deworming and fly tagging.
It seems as though the month of May is spent entirely at the working facilities. Two different groups (the replacement heifers and the cows) will each have to come through the chute three times to set up and execute the AI protocol. The heifers will get bred on May 21st and the cows will get bred on May 28th. Approximately 10 days after the AI breeding, the cleanup bulls will get turned in for 60 days. As always, we hope that it doesn’t get too hot until we get the AI work completed, as heat can have a negative effect on conception rate.
In preparation for all this cow working, I gathered up some materials around the farm and built a working table next to the chute. There used to be an old feed bin in this location, but it was harboring racoons and wasn’t ideal for working off of. I do believe that his will work much better. And yes, I do know that it is not level. I fastened the table to the existing 2x4 on the back wall instead of setting another post. You can call me lazy, but the way I see, now the coon crap will roll off the table and into the trash barrel at the end. Yet another efficient design at Eden Shale Farm!
In the past month we have also switched out the two Case IH tractors. The old ones had hit the 230 hour mark, so H&R Agri Power prepped and delivered two brand new ones. These units have proven to be capable and reliable tractors. I would recommend the Case IH Farmall 110C tractor to anyone looking for an excellent all purpose addition for the farm.