PPR Paul Orr

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

North Platte, Nebraska

The rye in the area has begun to green up. It is exciting for me to see some color in the fields.

There is not much frost in the soil. Just today I encountered a neighbor up in the Sandhills digging post holes. All but the most stubborn piles of snow have melted away. This opens up a world of possibilities. We can remove the electric fence from a couple fields.

It might be a good time to set up the drag harrow on our irrigated hay field to break up and distribute what the cows left behind last fall. This might be enough to worry about for now. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. I won’t have to think about any real field work for another month. This could be my motto: “Take action where it is needed and don’t worry about what can’t be changed today.” And I should repeat it to myself each day!

Saturday was in the 60s and my cousin Nick was here, so we went ahead and moved the cows to a brand new field of stalks. Most of the younger pairs stayed back in the old field and the pregnant cows followed the cake wagon out, so I guess that was a quick way to pair out.

All of the calves were tagged so we would know if any cows got excited and left baby behind. Well, three cows did but they were pretty concerned when we got where we were going.

Well, here are the typical morning chores at Orr Farm in March — Drink several cups of coffee. Daybreak: Go through the pregnant cows; write down any new babies. Tag and band the calves that were born yesterday. Pair out any cows that are close to the gate. Break the ice. Drive up west and grain the heifer pairs. Break the ice. Fill up the cake buckets on the way back. Drink some more coffee. Grain the bulls. Break the ice. Go out and cake the cows. Make tags for the calves that were born last night and this morning. Check the pairs. Better break the ice for them, too.

I haven’t been breaking near as much ice as I did this time last year and that is nice. — Paul Orr