The massive amounts of rain this spring has had some major setbacks for some farmers in the Midwest. Although, we too, we’re getting a little nervous as the first week of June came and passed with nearly all of our planting left to do Mother Nature, thankfully, provided us with enough sunny days in a row to dry out and get in the fields. It was a long week, with very, very long days but our planting is complete. And just as we were about done planting our first cutting of hay was ready to be cut so we were able to get that done. It’s a blessing to have such a willing and dedicated team that put in extra hours the last few weeks to get everything done that we needed to.
How does this increase in rain change the production cycle and planting time of our crops? In short, how we plant, grow and harvest allows us a little more leeway than traditional row crop farming for a few reasons. We feed our cows a total mixed ration (TMR) which is a mixture of different crops all combined in the perfect ratio for supreme nutrition for our herd. The corn planted this time of year will be chopped for silage come fall. Since you chop silage when the corn is green, our corn does not need the same amount of time as other corn does to mature and dry out as corn that is harvested solely for the kernel.
This Spring’s weather still does cause some other stresses on our farm. It’s a challenge to haul manure and spread it on the fields when the ground is so saturated. The cows on pasture have had to deal with extremely muddy conditions. And it’s required us a great deal of patience as we have had to delay moving forward with our robot barn partially because of the wet conditions and partially because of having to shift our day-to-day priorities. Farming requires a great deal of flexibility. Although we would have liked to have made more progress on the new barn, planting and getting our crops in was the most important thing for the farm. That doesn’t mean we are any less eager to begin building these new additions so we can implement our two, new robotic milkers.
Once construction begins again, we hope to work on our new facilities and complete them sometime this winter. Our hope is to have enough progress so we can have farm tours, open to the public, beginning next summer!
Thankfully, the rain does not directly impact our milk cycle and the fairly mild temperatures thus far this summer has allowed our cows to continue to be comfortable giving us great milk with a fantastic butterfat percentage. Besides the plating times of our crops, we can still milk our cows efficiently while the rain pours. We are remaining hopeful and excited about the changes coming to our farm. Follow our social media and blog posts to see what’s happening on the farm!
- Posted by Elizabeth Uthoff
- On June 17, 2019
- 0 Comments