Farmerjan's journal - Weather

Senile_Texas_Aggie

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Today, so many are just paying to have their whole chopping and combining done custom.... a couple of days it is done, in the silo or the bags or the grain bins..... sure it is a cost, but the crews have enough people to do it all, you are not having to fit it inbetween normal farming chores, and you don't have all that expensive equipment sitting around for 8-10 months when you only use it for 2 or 3.

There are two YouTube channels where that happens. The first channel, "Dodge Brothers Farm and Ranch", shows two brothers who own a lot of farm equipment, including tractors, combines, which they use to farm other farmers' fields under contract. As far as I know, they don't travel far. The other channel is "PA Farms", which describes a small farmer in PA who farms part-time and hires crews to do his corn harvesting for him.
 

farmerjan

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One of my dairy farms here is multi-diversified. Dairy, mostly mother and daughter; son has beef and does alot of the mechanics and some field work; Father does field work and they have some big equipment and do alot of custom work for others; son-in-law helps with feeding at the dairy, and field work and where ever.... They also have 2 or 4 turkey houses and a full time employee for that but the guys also do stuff in them. Full time milker as the mother had shoulder reconstruction and is limited in the milking parlor now. This way they are utilizing the equipment for many months use.... and they can mostly all switch back and forth to do multiple things.
 

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Hot and muggy today.... was only down to 72 last night, muggy and warm early. I hauled a load of water to the troughs in the lot for the cow. Did her and then came home to switch to some cleaner/drier clothes, got a list together, and went to PT. Then went from there to town, went to walmart and they made it a point to say that on monday masks would be mandatory..... I got a bunch of stuff. No Yeast, but they did have a huge stack of wm quart jars for 11.99. No lids either but some of the other stuff was available. I did pick up a 6 pk of food saver 11"x rolls.... had a few of the 8"x rolls also. Added a few more things, but I am good with TP and paper towels... did get some more detergent and softener while I was thinking about it and shampoo and conditioner.... I like the organix brand.... some more frozen sole filets and some shrimp. Only had 1 big bag of cat food that I feed to the outside "barn cats"... will check again when I go north to test tomorrow.
Farm called and they forgot to tell me that they changed their milking times back to 4 and 4. So instead of going up there to set up around noon, milk at 1:15 and be done and on the way home by 6-7... will go up and set up around 3 or so... milk at 4 and won't be on the way home after milking and meters washing until 10 or so..... not very happy about it but can't change it. So my son isn't going because he wants to go to a tractor/truck pull.... we were going to leave a vehicle in Staunton, then on the way back he could go west from there to the pull which was okay with me. I told them at the farm that I wouldn't have any help and that I was working a little slower although I was out of the boot and all... they said that was fine, they would help and there will be people around to help set up and take down as there usually is. They are only testing about every 3 months so I will roll with it.

I am taking a few butchered chickens for them as they are always giving me something they have killed...smoked....cured.... they are very generous that way. Meant to take the chickens from the last batch but forgot... so I will take some this time and that will decrease the number in the freezer. Hope that next week the guys who are working on the road will have a cooler so I can send some home with them since they were very interested in them the first time they were here, then they were gone and then the chickens were gone when they came back. I mean, I have 50 or so now to finish.... Oh and the guy texted from the farm today, and said that he found about 8 more when picking up the dead birds from them suffocating. I said I would be coming that way on Sat so will swing by.... will have to take a crate, and the net.... he said they were too nice to just kill... so if the animals haven't gotten into the house to get them... or the feral cats.... I guess I will get a few more. I will have to leave early to do all this along the way there.
Temps are supposed to get up into the mid-upper 90's with heat indexes over 100.... pretty hot for here. Sure hope we get some of the possible rain/showers/storms they are calling for.
I understand that he mowed one smaller field today....thick hay but getting very over mature...... maybe he can rake it tomorrow. I won't be here and if he does it later in the afternoon, the bottom side will be off the ground and possibly dry enough to bale on Sunday. It did shower while I was in town and a few isolated spots got a short storm... but not here at the house area. We do need some moisture though. It would be nice if it went around us again for the next 2 days to get this latest field up.... but I won't say much if it does rain. Seems like the storms are splitting and going a bit north towards Staunton, and south of us towards the Roanoke and across into the "southside" area.... There were a few decent downpours to the east near Charlottesville.... and I think that maybe @Mini Horses was going to get some over on the coast area...
Went to Lowes after walmart, and looked at paint samples and all again. Lady there is part-time... 69.... and knows quite a bit about paint.... gave me some advice and I asked alot of questions. I will probably buy it there just because she showed interest in what I was doing and was willing to answer questions. Also, although it costs a little, they will mix a 1/2 pint of what you think you want so you can take it home to try on the wall and see if you like it.... I think that I might get a few "samples" and then will be able to see what each looks like. They also had a "pro" sale and their ceiling white 5 gal bucket was on sale for 12 less... I figured it up and that would save me over 35 on 5/ 1gal cans.... so I bought the 5 gal bucket. Not like it will go bad and I know I can take it back to get it "mixed" again if I don't use it real soon. Sale ended today. So got a $88 bucket for 75...... and hey, you can used ceiling white for anything. She was also giving me info on the different types of paint, what they cover, and all that.
SERVICE like that means something.

Speaking of that @Senile_Texas_Aggie , did you ever get things figured out with the grapple situation?????

time to hit the shower and get some sleep...
 

farmerjan

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Just a few thoughts as I just got home about a half hour ago. It's about 11:30 or so now. Long day, but they fed me a plate of spaghetti and gave me 4 nice big tomatoes and one good meal of green beans to bring home to cook. Said they canned 14 qts of green beans yesterday.... helped me set up and tear down, as usual and I didn't have any trouble keeping up. The heat has finally gotten to most everyone's cows, and they did not want to hurry in the parlor so all was good. I was tired, knees aching a bit by the end... 3 1/2 hours... but not so awful bad. Yes, I took several rounds of pain relief before I got there and early during the milking so I would be able to manage without a big problem. They have several big fans in the barn and the air was moving so not miserable. Hot but not unbearable.
My several dairy heifers will be going there to milk. I was explaining about the milk/cow share thing I had wanted to do, and the planning ahead, and then, between the knees and my son just not really wanting them around, this is going to be the very best case scenario..... I do not want to get paid anything, especially while the milk prices are so low AGAIN.... but I will want to get the 1/2 beef calves back to go on the 2 jerseys I plan to keep here to use as nurse cows again.... but this way there won't be so many here, he won't have to deal with them with calves and needing to be fed grain, and all the little things if/when I go in to have the knees done. The thing is, although this is a big dairy, and they maybe do not get the best production out of the cows because they cannot afford to put alot of high priced feed into the cows, they do get fed decently and they are not rough on the cows. And they could use the extra milk and not have to be buying more heifers. I know that they will take care of them as best they can, breed them back, and that is important. Then at least I can make some other decisions next spring.....
Who knows what this country is going to be looking like by then anyway....
 

farmerjan

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OOPS, hit the post button....

Started out with son's freezer not working right, transferred all the pork into his freezer in the fridge....Just fit. Did the cow and all and then took son to get the tractor with the tedder, and moved it down to the field he mowed. Then ran him back to his truck. Then came back home.... got the meters all loaded, got the bottles all put into the racks to take. Put 6 nice frozen chickens in the smaller freezer chest, stopped and got a 10 lb bag of ice and ran to the farm bureau to get a fuel filter for the mower. Dropped that in the "part-time" helper's truck for him to do. Stopped at the new meat birds, there were 2 that had died overnight, but the rest had eaten nearly all the feed in the 2 smaller hanging feeders and the water was 3/4 th empty. Put a second full waterer in there for the day and filled one of the feeders. Loaded the crate, then finally headed north. Stopped and got the 8 left... thye daughter and a friend were riding the 4 wheeler and the friend offered to help catch them so it was accomplished alot faster than I expected. But the chickens got "run" down... she was fast on her feet, but it put alot of stress on the 5 I hadn't caught when they came in the broiler house. One died this evening in the crate on the truck.... partly heat and stress on the heart from running/catching them....Oh well, that's life. So time wise I was ahead of schedule. Got to the farm about 2:20 instead of 3 as I was expecting... so we got the meters set up, I got to talk to the father and son about the heifers, and no rushing. Then did the milking/testing and all.

It was so late I did not go up and let the cow out as she had hay and water.... she will want out in the morning but I didn't want to disturb the daughter and kids there at that late hour. They are leaving Monday to go back to Tn to pack up their house as he had gotten, a new job in Pa, it's about an hour to his parents, and they found a house, and the company is paying some of the moving costs I guess....closing on the house in Tn is the 26 or 29th or something, and the house in Pa isn't until like the 10th... so they will be back to stay at the house on the farm here, for another 2 weeks then go to Pa and close and get unpacked, and then who knows about school or whatever. He has been up there for over a month working, staying at a B&B and going to his parents on the weekends. Then it will get back to normal with the cows.... and then the heifers there will be calving so peaceful.... she is a nice person, but is super worried about every little thing that the cows do and "is this something wrong, or what is the matter with that one".... sometimes it is a bit much.... but it is nice that she cares.... The 2 kids have made some of the heifers real pets... feeding them handfuls of grass.... and it's got it's good and bad. One I was going to sell is the absolute favorite of the daughter and goes to the kid like a magnet.... I can't get that friendly with her.... and she can do most anything with this heifer. So I guess she will stay even though she is one that my son doesn't like since she is half dairy/half beef.... but hey, at least she will be able to reproduce even if the calves won't be worth as much as straight beef calves. My animal so if I take a hit my loss not his. And maybe I will get lucky and the calves will take after the sire which is angus.... and look beefier.

All the 5 calves were in this morning when I fed grain, so I will see if they go in, in the morning again, maybe I can get my son to come up and tag and work them.... only 2 bull calves I think, so shouldn't take alot of time. Then I can let the 3 out with the nurse cow some too as I will know who belongs to who and be able to keep better track of all of them. Since they have learned the creep gate too, they will be able to mingle with the beef calves there, and the exercise will help them grow and develop muscles and be healthier.... Hopefully the 2 week younger, and smaller one will go out with them too and I can make sure that she gets on the cow when I bring her in for grain.... I am trying to feed them some grain in the barn so they ought to fit right in with the other 5 with eating out of the feed bunk.

Will take these chickens up in the morning and make sure they get water..... maybe put a couple of panels together to increase the size of the pen for them all to get around in.
Going to have to rake the hay if it doesn't rain overnight.... then it can be baled tomorrow. 40-60% chance Mon through Fri so don't think we will be doing any hay. Got to get started on the meter washing tomorrow so that they will be ready to go by Tuesday morning. Can't remember but I think my PT is Monday and Wed this week???? got to check the calendar in the morning... it is in the truck.

Past time for bed....
 

Baymule

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You are amazing. All the things you do, all the haying, milk testing, chickens, calves and cows, plus PT. All while struggling to even walk and get around. On top of that, add in everything that goes with buying a home and I have tons of admiration for you. You are an extraordinary woman.
 

farmerjan

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Thanks @Baymule but crazy is more the correct title.

Sunday, early afternoon. Put most all the meters into the 2 biggest cooler chests full of water as they will submerge good which will make taking apart and cleaning for the calibration on Tuesday a little easier. I will sit on the tailgate out on the lawn, pull them out and take apart and do what needs doing. It was just getting too hot out there, for right now.
Sure, not so hot compared to Texas.....but hot enough here.
Let the cow out and fed the calves grain but they weren't all in. Then went to the chickens.
BAD NEWS.
Found 10 dead in the pen, heads and necks all bloody and a couple missing the heads. No obvious places dug under, so I am assuming that it went over or squeezed through the 2x4 inch welded wire. This is a "dog kennel" and has worked very well for several years...it is 6 ft tall, so not easily scaled and have never had anything go over like this..... I have about half the top covered with a tarp for shade and rain where the feeders hang from a couple 2x6's that I used for the "frame" for the tarp. Never had a problem before because there isn't "fly room" so to speak.
I am thinking maybe a weasel, or .... I don't know for sure. Haven't seen weasels around and there is a remote possibility that it could be a mink.... there have been a few in the general area over the years.
Whatever it is, I am not offering a free all you can eat buffet here......
Maybe an owl so I am going to get the rest of the top covered over so if it is an owl, it can't "fly down in there" although I don't think it is. I plan to move it a bit so that it is sitting flat on undisturbed ground so I can tell if something is trying to sneak under....and yes, I guess it could be dug under because the ground is not real hard being that it is under the tree canopy so "woodland soil"....but no obvious spots "dug under".... and I am taking the trap up and using one of the dead birds for bait. I put the rest of the ones I had stopped to get, in, lost a couple (one I knew died that afternoon) and I know it was the stress of chasing them. One thing I also realized.... best to get them right after they get them out of the houses. If they go a day or 2 without feeders and waterers, they also get much faster to try to catch and much more wary..... instincts of survival kicking in???? I have always gone to get them like the next day, and they get faster and smarter when they are having to "survive"..... So I will go up this afternoon when I go to do the cow, but earlier; and then I can move the pen a bit by myself since I don't know where anyone is half the time. Set the trap, and put some other panels over the top so as to stop anything from obviously going in that way....and then try to figure it out. Might be a coon going in over the top. Going to make it tempting to go in the trap with the chicken and some cherries I just got from the grocery.... they were so nice, so I can bite a couple in half and use so they smell inviting....D@#N VARMINTS.....

ALWAYS something.
Texted my son about going to rake, and he texted back and said that "I thought you had to wash meters".... I said yes, but that I thought the plan was for me to rake first.... he said he was going to get the rake and hook it up to the other tractor and the brake is really stiff on it, but it has the needed hydraulics so we can fix the other tractor hydraulic fittings.... and implied he was going to do it so fine with me. I came home. He was down at the farm near her house; there are some calves with pinkeye so was going to take the dart gun and "shoot" them since there is no catch pen there.
Flies are HORRENDOUS this year and resulting in more pinkeye cases it seems. He said the girl at the farm bureau said they just got in a supply of darts, they had been sold out, and that they would be gone by the end of the week. It is actually less stress on the cattle to just shoot them with the dart than to try to set up a pen and then work them all in this heat.... We had done good up to this past week.... several cases at several places all of a sudden.

So I came in to get a drink, the meters are soaking and I will make a sandwich now and then go out and start on the meters in the shade of the tree.

Farmer was very pleased with the chickens yesterday. They are wanting to do some barbeque so that is great.

Took 3 to son's neighbor this morning; as he had loaded me up with yellow squash (that I need to get blanched and frozen).... they are in a cooler with ice to keep them cool.... from yesterday when I was coming down the driveway. So with some chicken out I will have some room. Going to take a few up to the friend that went with me to Duke a couple of weeks ago.... we are going to trade it off for venison this fall as they are serious hunters there due to the damage the deer can do to the vineyard. They have been making wine for years and years, it is their primary business, and have alot of grapes.....I
Better get the problem at the chickens so I have more to put back in the freezer later on.... or sell.....

Haven't heard about the closing so will have to contact them tomorrow and see if all the paperwork has gone okay.... would have thought that they would have gotten back to me if it hadn't since I did send a text saying I had managed to get it sent on the computer.....

PT @ 8:45 in the morning; will go there first then to the cow so I don't get dirty or sweaty and have to change. Then finish the meters tomorrow I guess...
Time for some lunch.... Maybe a tomato sandwich.... got 4 nice tomatoes from the farm yesterday with the green beans that I plan to cook for supper tonight.... I think green beans and squash would be just right this eve.....
 

Senile_Texas_Aggie

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Speaking of that @Senile_Texas_Aggie , did you ever get things figured out with the grapple situation?????

I will go into more detail when I start posting about what has been going on here at STA Farm, but the short answer is NO. The dealer did come out to take a look, bnut came on a day when a thunderstorm came up. I got drenched while we were testing the quick attach adapter, so we stopped. I plan to do a more thorough testing when i get time. In the mean time, I am VERY careful when I use the grapple, knowing it could come off when I use it in a certain way.

You are amazing. All the things you do, all the haying, milk testing, chickens, calves and cows, plus PT. All while struggling to even walk and get around. On top of that, add in everything that goes with buying a home and I have tons of admiration for you. You are an extraordinary woman.

Amen to that, Miss @Baymule!

Senile Texas Aggie
 
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