PPR Paul Orr

Paul Orr of Orr Farms in North Platte, Midwest Messenger Producer Progress Reporter

North Platte, Nebraska

Heifer calving season is a good time to stay up late. I don’t have television or internet at the house and I try to stay busy with some little project in the house or in this case, writing a Producer Progress Report.

This past week I rode up North of Cheyenne with one of the neighbors to a bull sale. I bought the bull I wanted and he brought home a couple. On the way home, we talked about how they used to stack hay with horses. They would run something like 18 head of work horses out in the hay field. Wouldn’t that be an operation.

Yesterday we drove all the cows down the road about 6 miles back to my place. The day I had picked out for the drive was icy and windy, so we waited another day and it turned out to be gorgeous. I’m blessed to have cornfields around the house for calving, with the house and barn as a central location. I need to do some cleaning inside the barn and I’ll be ready when the cows are.

The heifers will be dropping calves soon. I had one a little early; she did not have enough milk at first but pretty soon she bagged up and now the new pair are doing great.

In my opinion, the only efficient way to heat an old 1890s two-story farm house is with wood. Maybe the best part of that old house is the earth stove. Anyone who owns one or has owned one knows what I’m talking about! And they were made in Nebraska. We can process a year’s worth of firewood in about a day. We’re running a buzz saw off the flat belt of the old John Deere B and a massive splitter that hooks to the 3-point of a tractor. We’ve never went out looking for wood; the place generates wood. Old lumber, fence posts, a tree that dies here or there. A wind storm. It’s nice to heat with fuel that grows right on the farm.

It seems like most of the equipment may be falling apart worse than normal. At least we’ll have something to do in the shop when it’s really cold out.

All of the grain bins are completely full of corn and we’re just patiently waiting for that $4 mark. Wait a minute — we’ve been waiting for four years. Well, this is the year. 2020 is a year to see things clearly. — Paul Orr

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