Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Stuck in the mud

We are starting to get spring fever around the farm.  The days are getting longer and you can feel spring temperatures starting to tease us.  The daffodils have little flowers starting to spike out.  The hay fields are starting to green up with anticipation of the warmer temperatures that will follow  in March. 

We are continuing to work on cutting hedge rows back and are making quite a bit of progress.  We did end up getting stuck the one day with our big payloader.  We got into ta spot that was a little softer than we expected.
The loader weighs over 45,000 pounds and was quite a challenge to get out.  We tried hooking to big 200 horsepower tractors together to it and had no luck.  Ultimately we had to get a 50 ton excavator in to dig it out

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Spring Cleaning

This week was pretty quite around the farm.  There wasn’t too much going on other then normal day to day things like feeding and taking care of the animals.  We took the opportunity to catch up on cutting some firewood for next year.  Many people don't realize it but cutting fire wood is actually good for the health of a woods.  By cutting out dead and scrub trees there is more room for the healthy trees to thrive.  We cut almost 10 cords of wood to heat the farm house every year and almost never have to cut down a standing tree.  We are able to get enough wood from down trees and cutting trees back from around field edges that have grown in. 

Towards the end of the week we worked on taking an old hedge row out of one of the fields.  Many of the field used to be pastures that we used before we started making silages.  The fences can still be found around these fields and many of them have overgrown and can be a haste to drive equipment around and block the crops from getting sun light.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Udderly Amazing

We continued to enjoy the warm weather again this week.  We however did finally get some cold weather and snow the middle part of the week.  As we all bundled up and complained about it getting cold the cows were in their glory.  They love the cold weather and would be happy if it was cold all year round.  Part of this is due to how hard they have to work to make milk.  For every pound of milk they make it takes 200 pounds of blood to flow through their udder.  Our cows average 70 pounds per day which adds up to 1,400 pounds of blood in one days time.

We are starting to get a little spring fever and are starting to get geared up for spring work.  We ordered our seed for the corn and soybeans for the spring.  We also sat down with our crop advisor and went though our nutrient management plan.  Growing a crop takes a lot more precision then you garden does.  We test the nutrients in the soil and compare them to the crops needs and will fertilize based off of these results.  We also think about what crop genetics will respond best to our conditions.  Its hard to believe but we are only 5 weeks from the first day of spring.

Monday, February 6, 2012

New Bull

This week have been enjoying the unseasonably warm weather.  It feel more like the middle of March rather then February.  The daffodils are even confused and are starting to pop up out of the ground.  The hoof trimmer was in and all of the cows got the cow equivalent of a pedicure.  We also got a new bull from Bedford, PA to breed our heifers. 

This is Allen the new Guernsey bull.  He will be a year old the end of the month.  He adjusted quickly and has deemed him self the “King” of his herd.

The barn continues to empty out as we sell more hay and straw to the horse market that surrounds us.  We made about 65,000 little bales this summer and will buy another 20,000-30,000 more before we start baling again in the end of April.  Hay has gotten scarce this year and we have had to ship hay in all the way from Ohio and Canada already.