PDF FARM UPDATE
As always you can click on any photo to see it larger and use your back button to return to the blog….
The last time I posted I was fusing about the lack of rain….so May tried to wash us all away. Actually right here in Aridzona Virginia we did not have too much for anyone except the hay guys….they did have a devil of a time trying to make hay and a lot got wet and a lot more got too ripe to be highest quality. And it was pretty cool for a May. We did grow a little grass. I have been cutting grass relentlessly. Boss won’t let me graze the yard.
As of yesterday it has gotten hot…weather terrorist say the heat is here and no relief in sight…those guys are always trying to terrorize people with the weather….news flash summer will be hot…maybe the hottest ever…maybe not…but stay tuned and we will tell you what happened to you…
Went over night from sleeping under a blanket to sleeping under a fan.
We are in the midst of remodeling a bath room. Nothing fancy but the floor was bad and so we ripped everything out and putting in a new floor, shower, and sink and such. In over thirty years here we have not had a shower….we are starting to stink…not really, we are taking out a bath tub and putting in a shower…
I am in the midst of sowing my summer cover crops after grazing….this weekend we did two lots….one for the horses and one for the calves. Last weekend I brought home a heifer I am going to raise to breed and the twins from last fall who probably totaled 750 lbs together but they are way too small to market. Brought them here so that I can feed them a little bit. Took them two days to catch on to the feeding schedule….they holler every time they see me already. Yesterday I wormed them all again and put them thru the chute the first time with feed…now they keep looking for ways to go thru the chute again….It is amazing how fast they learn..
Any how below is a picture of the calves grazing paddock for the last week. This is after a week of the big steer and three weanlings and two goats grazing on it….I think I have a little residue. My problem will be getting the seed to the soil. But I mowed it with the bushog and drug a tractor tire behind the bushog to try to get the seed to the soil.
Here is a closeup of the residue after a week of grazing by the two year old steer and three weanling calves and two goats.
Here is the post seeding photo
And here is this weeks grazing
And the crew working on it….
Here is a shot across the five paddock in what we call the big bull field.
This is a shot of the far strip after three weeks growth….I should recall here that these paddocks have not had any chemical amendment of any kind in about seven years….no lime no fertilizer other than naturally deposited manure and no herbicide. Simply an effort to manage grazing by maximizing rest periods and species diversity with an emphasis on deep rooted crops and legumes. And each of these strips has responded differently to the conditions at the time.
The steer has been living on these crops for about a year and a neighbor was here a week or so ago and asked if the steer wasn’t ready for the freezer and I think he is…he has been getting about four quarts of feed a day for a few months now as well. I just grew up with corn fed beef and prefer the taste….so I feed him a little corn.
I would once again point out the high tech fence….a 2 inch diameter PVC pipe driven into the ground as a post and a strand of polywire…it looks like more because I have the gate pulled around along the fence. The divisions are single polywire.
And last but not least….my chicory patch in the garden was literally buzzing this morning. Bees and butterfiles and all sorts of critters. This patch has several species in it but after mowing it a time or two I decided to let it go and the chicory has dominated. It is beautiful with the early morning blue flowers and timely because the spring stuff like crimson clover and vetch have diminished and the summer stuff is not yet blooming. The chicory is well over my head. The animals love it and that is why you do not find it in conventinally managed pastures. Animals will graze it into extinction. It is a good plant because it is very deep rooted when allowed to grow and mines nutrients from the deep soil and breaks soil compaction .
Managed grazing and species diversity are the keys….I still have about three family’s of quail…on 12 acres….we hear quail calling almost every day….
It is too early to observe the summer seedings…I see cow peas everywhere and am just starting to see some buckwheat and pearl millet. I even went across the road and bushogged a patch of weeds a couple of weeks ago and broadcast about a quarter of an acre as a wildlife patch just to see what it would do.