April 2017 Agri-News Article
Southern Illinois is well saturated, to say the least. Our farm has logged 14 inches of rain this past week. I am thinking it was relatively wet before it all started. The creeks and rivers are showing signs of record highs. Locally, the back water has made a mess out of several acres of early planted corn. We were able to catch a couple of windows earlier in the month to get the planters going. A good bit of this will be chalked up for replant.
The first cut of hay was made around mid-month. Timing was spot on, as the early growth of fescue had just started to form a head. This was all put up as haylage, and we plan to feed it to the feeder calves over the summer for backgrounding.
Our breeding season has made it to the halfway point. We have been pregnancy testing via blood test on all the cows to determine A.I. conception. So far the results have come back really positive. The 5 day co-synch was a clear winner on synchronization protocols. I believe on younger cows this might be the best protocol to get the cows to cycle. They all seem to work well, but I am getting enough data together to see a trend.
The younger moos are doing well. We were able to wean the early born calves this past week. Having the finishing barn empty made for a great place to put the calves and keep them out of the weather. They are all weaned on Purina’s Stress Care program. This is a 30 day program that the calves adjusted well to from the creep feeder/cow diet they were on. After this, they will transition to a grower diet and probably remain inside for the summer.
Our farm has taken a step forward and created a website -- www.slykhuisfarms.com. It has been an adventure, but I am hoping this will enhance our marketing avenues for production females and freezer beef. We are still on the back woods, redneck side of technology in many ways, but this seemed to be the right direction to follow. My niece (our company secretary) did an outstanding job constructing the website. Our younger generation is trying to broaden our horizon and it is a challenge keeping up.