We ended the year on the wet side here in Southern Illinois. We dialed in 6.5 inches of rain for the month. It doesn’t take much precipitation this time of year to make the feeding areas a mess to deal with. The herd is spending more time eating the TMR ration, and less time picking and grazing, which adds to the traffic around the bunks. The temperatures have stayed above freezing and relatively above normal through the holidays. I remember last year's beginning was brought in at -5 degrees. It’s amazing how different one year can be from another.
Our calving season is off and running. The warmer weather has been great for the new babies, aside from the wet turf they are having to deal with. It is hard to decide which is worse, extreme cold or mud. They both have their issues, but so far, we have had good luck. The two year old’s are coming inside at night. Otherwise we make the rounds and keep check on the herd throughout the day. The forecast for the next two weeks is showing mild temperatures, and we are going to take advantage of that and hopefully get most of our A.I. Conception calves up and going. There is plenty of winter left and I know we have some cold air on the horizon. Having the bulk of the calves hatched out before it gets extreme will be a huge blessing.
As we reflect back on the year 2018, we look at the highs and lows that occurred. Our crops were plentiful, both on the grain and the livestock. The market price is softer than we had hoped for, but it looks like we survived to farm yet anther year. I had someone ask me the other day if it was a tough year farming. I don’t thing any year is easy anymore. We have to be thankful for the blessing we have and that we live in a country that allows us an opportunity to raise the best quality beef in the world.