It has been a dry summer so far here at Slykhuis Farms. We ended the month with just over 1.5 inches of rain, with most of it coming on the last day. The fescue pastures have gone dormant and what was stockpiled is starting to get short. We were fortunate that the overall temperature has been unusually cool. Our local weather station was showing a map of Southern Illinois this morning and it detailed the dry areas in our region. It seems like we have had a dome over our township for a couple of months. There has been some substantial rainfall coming in, then it splits and dodges around us. We are hoping that the precipitation will catch up with us in August.
The brood cows and feeder calves are on idle for the summer. We hand feed the female feeder calves outside on pasture and use the TMR machine to feed the steers inside in the finishing barn. We are also hand feed CTC (Chlortetracycline) to the brood cows every morning. This is by far the best way to keep check on the herd and keep from getting behind on nutrition. In the past we have ran the CTC in the free choice mineral. This will work in some situations. Our cows have been inconsistent on mineral consumption, and without a consistent dose of CTC there is no defense against Anaplasmosis. I plan to hand feed them for about 60 days to keep it subsided throughout the heat of the summer.
With some free time on hand this past month, we decided to step out and do some advertising for the farm. The past two weekends we set up a booth at trade fairs here locally to let the public know about the farm and what we have to offer. One was through Southern FS and the other was put together by Senator Dale Fowler. This gave us an opportunity to talk to the public about our freezer beef program and the genetic work we have done on our production females. The response was very favorable and the feedback we received on social media was overwhelming. I am starting to see that the marketing side of farming can be the most important.