I know I have been neglecting the blog! We have had a very very busy summer to say the least.
We completed an addition to the freestall barns, allowing us to increase our number of milking cows. This will put us up to about 510 cows in the milking barns.
Hanging lights and fans in the addition:
Cows trickling into the addition as the builders finish in the back ground.
We also did some renovating to the existing free stall barns, ripping off the old tattered curtains to replace them with new curtains that allow more air flow.
Still waiting for the curtains to get here, but the sides of the barn look like this now:
With more cows comes more calves! So we also made a small addition to the maternity barn to make feeding calves easier.
Built some calf fence:
And last major project for this year, we broke ground on a new dry cow/maternity barn.
Got most of the fill hauled this week:
This barn will be attached to our existing maternity barn (seen in the upper left hand side of the picture) and give our dry cows (cows that are not currently being milked) a more comfortable place to relax then they have now, as well as give more room to our cows that are soon to be calving.
Of course, we also have normal cropping operations to keep up at the same time!
Side dressing nitrogen on corn:
Nitrogen is one of the main nutrients that corn needs, “side dressing” corn allows us to get the nitrogen on as the corn is up taking it, lessening the chance of it leaching out of the soil and into our water ways.
Refilling the sprayer. Notice the drops, the nitrogen sprays out of those drops below the canopy between the rows near the plants roots.
We make 4 crops of hay each each summer. That means every acre of hay is cut, merged, chopped, hauled and packed into a bunker 4 times each summer!
Cutting 4th crop:
Zoie helping me cut hay:
Merging 4th crop: (Merging puts several windrows together so that the chopper and trucks have less ground to cover)
View from the trucks when we are chopping. A wireless camera on the spout of the chopper and a display in each truck allows you to see your truck as you are being filled.
My father in law came and drove truck for us during third crop, he thinks we are crazy for farming some of our hills:
Cutting sorghum-sudan grass for heifer feed, while the neighbors dog catches mice:
We wrecked not one, but two complete set of knives for the chopper, that gets expensive!
Currently we are now getting the corn head all tuned up for corn silage, which will start in about a week or so.
We grow a little bit of wheat. It is swathed, combined, then the straw is baled:
My Dad got some ducks and chickens. I say he is now the “poultry manager”
Some heifers we are keeping at the neighbors until we can get our dry cow barn done:
Well, sorry that i didn’t post much this summer, but now you are mostly caught up on our summer! I will try to post more pictures of the fall harvest.