Hello from our little part of the Bohemian Alps. Wow, has Mother Nature been making a statement going from frosty nights to light- or no-jacket weather. The frost has made a statement, too – everything from frost-painted windshields to white meadows – and you can see the frost going out of the ground on the road. The morning daybreaks have been breathtaking with vibrant pink, purple and golden skies.
I guess we turned to daylight saving time over the weekend. While the clock gave us an extra hour, the livestock were not impressed. Guess we don’t have any clocks in the feedyard, so they can’t see the time change! Needless to say the livestock are never impressed with humans jerking their food schedule around.
The pickups and trailers are keeping busy moving out the weaning calves and taking the cows to stalks. We had about 1.5 inches of rain, which helps keep the dust down as we travel up and down the roads.
The forage harvest has slowed way down. We’re wrapping up just a few late-planted fields. Some of the forage grain did not have enough time to grow up tall before the ol’ man frost hit. Several bags have been made – some with the intentions of holding over for a season before feeding.
To fill some of these forage bags, we have had a round-trip of 10-12 miles from field to bag and back to field. Lots of windshield time. The country is beautiful, so that makes the drive fun. It takes all four trucks running to keep the chopper and bagger moving without much delay.
When the chopper fuel filters plug, it stops the entire process. One time it broke a big part on the cutter head, which required Carl and grandson Bo to go on an all-day part run (6-8 hours round trip). Then they came home late to fix it, with all mechanics on deck, to make sure it would run for the next day. Of course we had only about four loads to go before sealing up the forage bag, which was finished the next morning.
Speaking of moving along, a big doe tried to run along with Tony in the J truck. Of course at the last minute she cut the road in front of the J. The truck won with just a couple of bumps and scratches. Now the coyotes will be fed for the night. We’re grateful she did not take out the radiator or something.
It took the whole next day to move four trucks, bagger, cutter, fuel truck, mechanic truck and a jeep home. I always have to laugh because there are six of us and we manage to get four extra pieces of equipment there at the end. The drive along the Niobrara River ridge road is a very beautiful drive.
The frost has been extreme enough to stop the growth of the forage cane and corn. We have another bagger job where we will be making earlege. It is a slower process, and the weather was speaking about rain and snow.
We’re seeing lots of late-night combines in the fields, working around the clock to get finished before the weather changes to much. By the way, Mother Nature doesn’t care what month it is or anything about daylight saving time.
Many bean and corn shuck bales are being wound up and hauled out. The work seems to never end.
With the forage and corn fields we are seeing the deer stands appearing on the field edges and lots of pickups hauling in new stands. Bow and arrow season has begun, with rifle on its heels. There have been some great deer harvests – great racks on some of those bucks. Grandson Logan put down a nice big buck. Good job, Logan! The family will eat well.
We have had a rough last couple of weeks. The good Lord has called home several of our monarch farmers and ranchers. We are saddened, but what a legacy they left behind in their future generations of children and grandchildren. Farm on – and ranchers, ride on – until we meet again.
With the cooler weather setting in, a good bowl of soup is welcome. I took the time to bake some home-made bread. That’s a great combination that will make your tongue slap your cheeks.
Continue our prayers for a safe and bountiful harvest. Blessings and smiles, until next time.