Fertilizing the Pasture

Fertilizing Pastures

We are fertilizing pastures to help them grow before we put the cattle out on them. William is using FS’s new buggy to spread the the nitrogen. Last year’s drought really took a toll on the pastures. So we are feeding them now before it rains. The rain will help work it into the soil to make it available for the grass roots.

Historic Drought of 2012

Spring of Drought 2012

Since I had my websites combined and professionally revamped, I am behind in my blog updates. And I can’t believe I had forgotten about recording this historic year all summer. But fear not, I took lots of pictures. Believe me it’s all still fresh in my memory if not sweat glands, the details of the Drought of 2012.

Let this be a reminder to all of us. You never know when a season will be noteworthy enough to write about ’til it’s already gone. Please recall the harvest of 2009. Another year etched in my memory. But in our memories is not good enough for future generations. It has to be written down. It’s our children’s children’s heritage.

Okay, enough of the sentimental crap.

Winter was very mild/warmish. There was a late spring frost that killed some other farmers’ early planted corn.

perky 3 leaf corn

Spring planting started off at a very nice pace. Considering for many years in a row, we had too much rain to get into the fields. But we finished planting and were able to go to the Flach cattle show Memorial Day weekend.

theo at flach show

At this time, we weren’t getting a whole lotta rain. But we weren’t too concerned yet. Late last summer it stopped raining and we had to haul water. But we finally put in new wells at our house and grandpa’s. So we weren’t hauling water to the houses any more. But almost everyone else on old wells was dry.

cultivating corn

William dug out the old cultivator that completes the matched set with the tractor.(my opinion) After he drove it into the driveway, Bella asked, “What’s that?!” We don’t use it very much. We debate whether cultivating helps by creating a mulch around the plants or harms by clipping roots and releases moisture.

z and coyote

Z knocked this coyote down in one shot. She was out traipsing in the pasture close to the cows and calves. The pastures were still green. But that will change.

To be continued…


We got a hole in the ground

The drillers came and did what they do best and put a 140′ hole in the ground for our new well. They said it was good for 90 gallons/minute. William is just giddy about having water.

drilling rig

William is holding sand that came up like it's gold. He's going to bottle it. (not kidding)

The picture above was early in the morning. The picture below was what was left after they did their magic. They were pumping air down the hole to bring up water ’til it ran clear. So we had a 6ft fountain in our hay field.

water in the hole

Next time you see William congratulate him on his new well. I think he would pass out cigars if he had any. Below is the video we made for his blog.

Farm Disaster Plan

Work the Planice on barbed wire

After reading Purdue’s article on disaster preparedness for farms, I got to thinking about how prepared we are for an emergency on our farm. Although Mr. Cain has some great suggestions, he leaves out significant items necessary for almost every farm emergency.

I liked the idea of  creating a plan to discover potential problems that we might not have thought of occurring. With everyone getting involved I can see some coming up with scenarios that others may overlook.

Crop insurance is pretty much a given. When I think of disaster, I think of dealing with the fall-out immediately afterwards as in a tornado, ice storm, or fire. Crop insurance covers loss of yield from drought, flood, green snap, ect. These usually occur over days to months. They’re not what I consider emergencies.

Keeping important files and papers offsite is fundamental. We have files in a security box at the bank and backup files online regularly. Walking through the a pre-planned exercise would be wise in order for everyone on the farm to know what is expected and what to expect.

The one thing that is not mentioned that I believe is vital is a generator. We have had many winters where ice had knocked out the electricity for more than a few days. Having a generator as a backup energy source was crucial for getting through that time period. Not only for the house but the livestock are dependent on us for their water supply. We have a tractor pto hook up for one site of the farm and a Honda 6500 gas generator for the other.

Have you had a farm emergency at your place? How did you handle the situation?