Saturday, September 29, 2012

This September is finally coming to and end.  Un-seasonally hot and dry.  We had no moisture of any kind this month.  Every morning we both cough and sputter from all the dust we breathed the day before.  Then clean the dirt out of our eyes.  There have been a couple of mornings where the thermometer has shown 33 degrees.  We don't even get a dew, the air is so dry.

The few stock ponds that have water in them continue to lower.  The pipeline and the water from the well has been the lifeblood for this whole area around us this summer.  There probably has been close to 2000 head of cattle watered from this well this summer.  It has pumped just under 5 million gallons this year.  At times it was a job just keeping enough water in the storage to keep up with the four pumps that pump out of the cisterns.  We had to add a plastic tank that stored another 1500 gallons to keep up.

We weaned the calves that were over here on the "gumbo" and took them over to Ryan's.  Their corral is so dusty that they are starting to show some signs of dust pneumonia.  We treated about eight head the other day.  Then Ryan's pipeline sprung a leak and drained his well.  I called around for a backhoe to dig it up.  Everyone's backhoes were busy putting in pipelines and so the earliest I could get one is next Tuesday.  So we are hauling water to the calves in the corral.

We got the ewes in and sorted off the older ewes and sold them.  The price was not very good, but we sold half of our ewes.  We still have all of our lambs.  They are on the creek eating the last of the green.  They look good but aren't worth much on this market.  Two weeks ago the lamb market was up and it looked like we were seeing the bottom and it was turning around.  Then this week the market was quoted down $5 cwt.  Carcass weights are coming down but are still 20 pounds too heavy.

We had the veterinary come out and pregnancy test the yearling heifers.  There were 11 opens out of 88 head.  So we thought we did pretty good for the way the year was.  The opens sold in Philip and they sold good.  Ryan and our calves go to the sale barn next week.  The calf market looks to be pretty good, so at least one market is good.

We now have a new neighbor to the south.  The Chaffee place sold last Tuesday.  The Spring family has leased it for the last thirty years.  They chased it to over $400 an acre.  It sold for $402 to the lottery kid - Neil Wanless.  Not a good year to sell as there is no water to speak of on the place and it looks like a desert.  They probably got all it was worth.

I finally finished moving hay stacks.  Was only hauling about one day a week lately.  I would like to mow the weeds along our driveway.  It is too dry and I would probably start a fire.  So will have to wait to mow weeds.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Well we have made it into mid September.  The weather stays hot and dry.  We have decided to sell about one half of the ewes.  We will keep the yearling, twos and threes.  Everything else will go to town.

Tammy and I going through the ewes  marking for age and checking the mouth for good teeth and checking for good bags.  The sheep market has continued to drop.  Ninety pound lambs barely bring $75 a head.  With high feed costs and high fuel costs everything else going up a rough estimate of our costs per ewe would be around $90 per ewe.

Right now our strategy is to sell half the ewes and hold the lambs until later maybe till December or January.  Hopefully by then the market will pick up.

Trucks coming to load out the ewes.  The ewes will be taken to Faith Sale barn to be sorted for age and quality.

Ewes heading up the chute into the truck.  loading went pretty well.  Loaded two trucks in about an hour.

On a brighter note we vaccinated calves with fall shots and took individual weights on the calves.  The weights on the calves were good considering the hot dry summer that they have been through.  Ryan had a good doing bull calf.

This calf weighed 660 pounds.  He was born March 17, 2012.  We had a couple about this size but didn't get a picture.

These calves have been sorted away from their mothers and wait for their trip down the chute to be vaccinated and weighed..

Sunday, September 2, 2012

We just got back from the State Fair in Huron last night.  Got to see the Red Angus Show.  Some new people that I haven't seen before.  Got to keep up on who is new.  Tammy spent her time helping give out lamb samples on Thursday then worked in the SD cattle woman's booth promoting beef on Friday.  I spent Friday at a board meeting for SD Farmers Union.  That evening Tammy got to meet some of her SDARL  classmates.  On Saturday Tammy was at the SD Beef Cookoff  by 8:15 in the morning.  They had 9 youth contestants and 9 adult contestants.  Allen and Corey Hockenbary our neighbors (a father and son team) participated in the contest.  Cory placed second.  So congratulations to Corey.

The weather has been hot most of this last week.  Last wednesday  the temperature got to 108 here. Had to keep a close eye on all the pumps.  Got back and went for a ride through the pastures over here this morning.

Don't quite understand what these gals were grazing on in this dry lake bed.  Last year this had a foot of water in it.

Last years grass isn't too great but that's all there is to eat so they have to be content.  That isn't water in the background it's bare ground from a dry water hole.  We have been feeding extra protein in the form of lick barrels for the last month.  We have enough old grass to last us through the fall and early winter grazing by feeding a little extra protein.

Then we went to see the yearling heifers.  Their pasture isn't much better.

Then they got curious and came up to visit.  As they got close they began to worry my dog.  I had a hard time keeping my dog from abandoning the four wheeler so I could take this picture.

Hopefully the weather will start cooling off.  Should finish hauling hay stacks this next week.  Then fix corrals
and get ready to give fall shots to calves.  We have a date to sell calves at the sale barn of Oct 2.  Then we have to figure what to do with lambs.  The lamb market keeps dropping.  The lamb market has dropped  about 70% from last year.  If this coming week is cooler we will work sheep some time. Sort the old ewes off  to sell them.  Then give overeating shots to the lambs.