Sunday, August 25, 2013

Amazing growth

I have been wanting to get these two pictures on the same page.  The rain we have had in the last three weeks has been phenomenal.  The end of July we were thinking about calling the crop adjuster.  This was my forage sorghum before the rains.

Then we had five inches of rain over a three week period.  It has made haying a little difficult.  The hay won't dry out so it can be baled.  We now get a look at what eastern South Dakota producers put up with for their haying.  The high humidity and dewy mornings.  This is my sorghum field now.

Pretty amazing.  The growth in three weeks.

We have been pulling bulls out of the pastures.  This way we have an end date for calving next spring.

I cut some second crop alfalfa here on the creek last week.  It was some of the best alfalfa I have ever cut.  I am still waiting for the hay to dry out.  I turned it over with the rake this afternoon to help it dry out some.

We will be going to the State Fair this coming week.  Hope to get the alfalfa square baled and in the barn before we go.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

It has been nine days since the last blog and we have had over two inches of rain.  This unsettled weather pattern just keeps us cloudy and foggy in the mornings.  It doesn't get  but about 80 degrees during the day and rains somewhere in the afternoon or evening.

The Sturgis motorcycle rally is over.  I guess they had a big crowd.  I haven't been to Sturgis in three weeks, so I don't know much what goes on.  The stop signs and traffic lights in Sturgis every block is too much for me to handle.  Tammy went to help the Cattlewomen promote beef west of Belle Fouche on the Wednesday of the Rally and went through Sturgis early and it took her 30 minutes to get through.

This is me standing in my field of sorghum before the rains started.  This is about as good as it was anywhere in the field.  I was thinking of calling the insurance adjuster to come and look before I turned the sheep in,
Now the sorghum has grown to about waist high and is a lush green.

I did manage to cut some hay and bale some little square bales.  Then the next day we loaded the bales on Ryan's trailer and unloaded the bales in the barn so they will be dry and ready to feed next calving season when we have cows in the barn.

This is me picking up little square bales with the hay head on the loader to gather them and bring them to the trailer where Ryan and Tammy stack them. The video is running at fast speed.  I don't go this fast.  Here I dump the bales on the load.

We ended up with about 180 bales in the barn.  This is Ryan holding his bale hook at the ready for the next load of bales coming in.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

What a little rain won't do.

At the last blog we were worrying about starting a fire when we were haying.  A sickle section or guard striking a rock could cause a spark and ignite a fire.  With a strong wind blowing this could devastate the prairie in a few minutes.  A neighbor had this happen next to our pasture.  The fire burnt about fifteen posts.

Since this photo it has started to rain.  It is an unusual time for us to have a rainy spell, but we welcome rain at any time.  In the last ten days we have had 4.81' of rain.  The first rain ten days ago was 2.36".  It filled the cracks in the ground and softened the soil in the bottoms of the dry creek beds.  According to radar more rain fell just north of us by the second day the creek had risen.  

Tammy and I went out to check the cows that were enjoying the softened grass and the cooler temperatures.

On the way back we crossed Softwater creek and saw that it was running.  Kind of strange for this time of year.

During the cooler weather Ryan came over and we got the bulls out of the pasture with the yearling heifers.  That way the heifers will calve for only sixty days and be done.  The bulls were not impressed that they had to leave their heifers.  With a little trouble we finally got them out.

The cooler damp weather had put a stop to our hay making.  We have been stacking bales.  Then we took apart our square baler to fix the plunger and adjust the clearances.  We had to order some bushings so it is down for a few days.  With the additional rain at this time we could get a lot of second crop alfalfa.  We like to put this second crop up in little square bales for ease of handling in the barns.

I wanted to include a picture of how much my sorghum field has improved with the recent  rain, but with another 1.53" of rain last night this is what is greeting us this morning.

This is how the creek looked from our front yard of the house.  The creek was bone dry two weeks ago and now it has been bank full twice in the last ten days.  I may make it up to the sorghum field and get a picture this afternoon.