August 2018 Agri-News Article

The summer is ending and fall harvest is soon upon us. We are still on the dry side, with only 2.9 inches of rain in August. That might be more normal than we think, but it seems like any amount we get disappears as fast as it comes. The heat and dry soils have helped to mature the crops. Most of the crop farmers like to wait until after Labor Day before they get harvest in full steam. Several had realized that the grain was dry and started early this year. We have harvested our group 2 soybeans and followed them with a cover crop of winter barley and Australian Winter Peas that we plan to graze this coming late fall and or harvest early next spring ahead of a corn crop. I hope to have enough growing degree days left to have it established to a point that I can run the weanling heifers on it during the early winter. I try to have a plan together, but we are always at the mercy of our forecast. It is man against nature and we adjust for it every day.

Our pastures are hanging in there by a thread, as we are hoping to hold out on using the winter hay supply just yet. We have rotated the herds around about as much as the pastures will allow. The brood cows are all getting hand fed range cubes everyday with CTC. I am hoping this will help control the Annaplasmosis problem as well as adding a supplement to a dried-out pasture. My wife and I along with her dad and my mom have been running the farm most of the summer. I must praise them for all the early mornings they have put together. There is nothing harder than handfeeding spoiled brood cows. I am proud of my “senior” crew. There is a lot of romanticism built up on owning a bunch of cows and raising calves. It is true to be a great lifestyle and it can reap a ton of rewards, but it comes with hard work and determination as well.

Todd Slykhuis

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