Farmerjan's journal - Weather

Baymule

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Send me a bucket of all that rain you are getting! I’ll pour it out in a field and I just KNOW it will call for all its cousins to come join the party! LOL

We finished the fence on the pasture in front of the house yesterday morning. No, not all fenced in, the front fence row is all grown up and will have to be cleared before I can put up sheep fence and no fence on the property line between me and the sellers. The new wire runs down the driveway and across the front yard, Bennet can graze his cattle on it. I can’t use it, with this drought, no point in being selfish when his cattle can use it. My new place is divided into 3 fields, I’ll be using the middle one. Told him he can use the other field after we get sheep wire up on the T-posts where we took down the barb wire and he was pleased with that. There is method to my madness. I’m getting help on fence! The other 3 sides on the middle field is in field fence.
 

Mini Horses

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Ahhh...life has stressors. We plan days at work, days at farm. Weather screws up the farm work, then we juggle what we must. :barnieo_O:idunnoaint fair. Older I get, the less I like it! :old. But life would be boring without it all.

Three years ago I thought I'd be retired now. Then the world got covid, now shortages and terrible weather issues, add recession, money and job confusion. More juggling and not of my own doing.

It's a time of concern with what steps to take. I'm so much better off than many but, not exactly where I want to be. That's why we trudge along for a while longer. I see farmers selling herds that took years to build. Sad. I see years needed to get to recovery....and too much big ag grabbing. Huge recalls of food from contaminants, with a lowly farmer restricted from selling his wholesome offerings. I feel blessed to be able to milk a goat and pick my own green beans -- small accomplishments that keep me healthy and sane. We struggle to make any sense of it all.
 

farmerjan

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Agree with your post @Mini Horses . I also planned on being able to "retire" from testing... because there is more than enough to keep me busy with the beef cattle and such. Wanted to be able to have my cows back and doing milk/herd shares to some degree... and have the 2 acres here fenced and more garden for some fresh veg sales and the fruit trees here and ready to be producing after the move. Many things contributing to the delays/ changes.... so we try to shift priorities around and "remake" the lists ..... there are some things that will be getting done this year if I have to hire it done instead of waiting on DS to do it.
The world is getting to a very scary place. This newest thing with China and the threats about Pelosi going to Taiwan has really hit me... we are on the verge of a third world war.... I cannot imagine our country becoming subservient to China but my gut tells me we are closer than most have even begun to imagine. Where does that leave/take us??? I don't know.

Tested this morning and am home. Hit some showers on the way home, then some more rain closer to home and it is now letting up a little. But the radar is showing more later and some possible harder rain and storms. I wish I could send it towards the areas that need it and let us have a week off.... 67 early and only 70 now. Not going to see much sun although clouds might thin now through mid afternoon.
I need to get the rest of the meters done and in the car, for tomorrow.
Want to get the samples packed and ready to drop off; reports printed to drop off at farm on the way tomorrow.

Have squash to get done and in the freezer. Looks like more peppers to pick so they don't get bad spots.

Bush hogging needs to be done if DS lets me know that he has gotten fuel in the tractor and the difficult/dangerous spots done.

Need to try to get the lawn mowed here... if the mower will work.
Lots of things on the lists....
 

farmerjan

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Back home and just ate a tomato sandwich with the last of the bread and the last of the 3 tomatoes I got from my farmer a week ago.
I got the samples all boxed earlier... have to strap them for shipping but will take a couple minutes. It stopped the shower/sprinkles, so I went out and got the rest of the meters taken apart and checked and cleaned and all... they are loaded in the car for tomorrow morning.
Then I went to the field to bush hog. Had texted DS; he said he had not been there, and he was feeling crummy... Sunday mornings seem to be the day to feel crummy... not going there. I said I was going to work on meters while it wasn't raining.... and then see.
So, I got there and started in the first field that the cows have been off for a few weeks. Grass looking good but a bunch of weeds and we have to do it anyway. Worked nearly 3 hours and got about 2/3 's of the field done. He has got to go and do the upper part where the sinkholes and all are. It's not all "done" as the lease says, but enough that to get it finished in a couple days will work. Won't take but a couple hours at most to finish it up. My knees were saying enough already today.

I am going to go up to the cow here in a little bit... get her done a little early and then come home, take a shower and wash my hair. Be clean for a day or 2 !!!

It is sprinkling a little again so I gave up on the idea of getting the lawn mowed. Maybe tomorrow afternoon after meters and all.

Deer are now eating the GREEN tomatoes in the garden and the tops of the tomato plants. I will either get the perimeter mowed or else just weed eat it,; and the netting is going up. This week one way or another...

Raining a little more seriously....supposed to taper off as it heads east... @Mini Horses ought to be happy, it looks like they will be getting a good amount over on the eastern side of the state.
I'm going to get a little wet and go to the cow so I can come in and stay in before dark. It is getting darker due to the clouds already.
 

farmerjan

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Monday night. Got everything done on the "need to do today list". Strapped the samples, put the printed reports in the car... left for the meter check... dropped off samples, stopped at the bank, went to the Sharp Shopper north of here, and found the flavor of Gatorade DS likes, picked up a couple of things... went to the farm of one of the testers where they do the meter calibrations. Talked to a couple of the testers, met the new girl that took the 5 herds and then gave up the "new one" I just got. She seems pretty nice... but this is only something she wants to do part-time because she still milks and does alot on her parents home farm. I am thinking she might be in her late 20's or early 30's... big tall strapping girl. Nice enough to talk to and she mentioned that she gave up the one farm she got because she could not get back home in time to milk like she was supposed to... the other 4 she is doing are quite close to her... I did not mention that I took on that other farm... I think she was pretty sincere about the milking/testing time conflicts... BUT it is obvious she really only wants to work part time... SO..... NO RETIREMENT plans for me. Talked to another tester that is over on the eastern side of the state and how "grim" things look for a replacement coming along to take over when all of us decide to retire...
Different guys to do the calibration this year. They got hired when a tester passed away about a year or so ago.... she was 64, getting ready to retire... These are 3 brothers that milk on the home farm... and they wanted something "extra" since there is not enough to take care of all 3 there... So they switch out a bit, all 3 can test, but normally 2 go to test ... most farms are 1-2 hours away... so 2 go, each tests a herd in a closeby area, they stay overnight and then catch a couple more the next morning... things like that. Make use of the proximity of several farms in one trip with being able to catch a couple farms.
Did find out that they are testing a couple of another tester's farms also. She is doing more care of her 90+ yr old mom, and she was talking about cutting back... she is 1 yr younger than me...

So, that's where it is at. No relief/replacement tester in sight like I had hoped... One of the brothers said at a meeting/training session he was just at, that there is talk that some of the breed associations are considering allowing farmers to do owner sampler tests like every other month... and official test the other month or something. This way a tester could do more herds that are scattered out over a bigger area... yes more travel.... but as some of us "age out" of the system, maybe a new/younger tester could be found with the promise of full time work???
This is a dying occupation... talk is also to have a few farms "test each other" so as to keep records official on registered cows... and cost the farmers less if done in a reciprocal deal of some sort.
Don't know what the future will bring, but for now, status quo I guess....
Went down the road a mile or so to another testers house... we usually get together to visit after meter check... this was my "day off" so to speak. Stayed awhile..... nice break. Then dropped off the reports on the way home.
DS called and wanted to know if I could take him back to his truck if he brought the tractor and discbine back to doug's farm... he was going to mow the johnson grass infested wheat... it will get left in the windrows, and he will bale it and wrap the bales to make "baleage" or silage in the bale.... Done with waiting on the wheat to get combined. It is past time by several weeks. He is going to plant back a variety of rye that is more heat tolerant.... instead of sorghum-sudan... it will give him a light crop this fall to cut...it will hold up with a light frost which the sorghum-sudan grass will not tolerate any frost..... then will over winter and give him a good spring cutting... he had talked to several guys about what to do to try to salvage this situation.
Sad too, wheat is bringing $9.00/bushel right now... but if it is full of the johnson grass they won't combine those areas, and if they aren't getting it off then what good is it...He is thoroughly disgusted and said he will never plant it again to harvest for grain...

So; he said it poured down at the pasture where he was bush hogging around the sink holes and rocky outcroppings... then he brought the other tractor and discbine back to doug's. We never got a drop here... about 5-6 miles apart. He mowed til dark, I picked him up and he is pretty upbeat about being able to salvage this wheat in this manner even though he hates to wrap hay... But there is a guy who will do it for a very reasonable price, and he is free this week...
So he mowed what he could, is going to finish it tomorrow... Then he will bale it direct from the mown windrows... not raking any as it will only make more wheat grain drop on the ground. We will probably lose 50% of the grain since it is so mature and the stalks are dried out... but with the johnson grass being very green, it will heat and ferment and make the wheat straw more palatable. At least we will get some good out of it. DS says there is ALOT there... feed we were not planning on but it will be a good cushion for this winter... and the stuff that is mostly wheat without the johnson grass in, he might be able to sell to a dairy farmer that one guy knows who will add it to his TMR (total mixed ration) for a fair price per bale... some options at this point.
Took DS back to get his truck. He said I could finish up the bush hogging as he did around the sink holes and the bigger ledge spots... I will try to get to that either tomorrow or Wed....

On top of all this, plans are to ship the steers this Friday and the cows to go dry to calve later this fall. Wean off the few heifer calves also in this group and put in the barn for now...
AND....... throw into the mix that the 500+ cow herd called... wanted to see if I could possibly test this week as it turns out they are going to replace all the electronic "boards" in the milking parlour next week .... they identify the cows, record all milk weights and other things, and sends the info to the office farm computer where I get my info to put into the DHIA system..... OF COURSE.... why not one more thing?:barnie The system will be down a couple weeks as they go through and replace all 32 boards... there is some major "repurposing" since the new ones do not fit into the same space the old ones are in... and it is a stainless parlor so welding/fabricating is going to take some time and they have to do this between morning and evening milkings ; nothing is ever simple
Naturally DS can't do it with all he has planned... and things have to get done here... and he cannot do any mornings as he has to be at work this week....
I texted Geneva that also helps some... hoping she will be able to help me this week. I told her they would take either a morning or an evening and I could go early and set up the sampler bottles and do a couple groups of cows if she could come one evening a little later after she got done at the dairy she is working full time at....only 2 miles up the road..... I am praying a little she can fit it in one day.... Should know tomorrow after she gets the text message... I just don't know if I can do the whole thing by myself... guess I could try... I can do a double 12 size... this farm is a double 16... take lots of tylenol/advil before I go and during the milking... they do milk a little slower in the evening so I could probably get through it....
Hoping she can fit it in.... short notice I know....

I am ready for a shower and bed. Eyes are gritty; not setting an alarm for tomorrow.....:th
 
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Mini Horses

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Wow. Not the news you wanted on job market. BUT it's not the type of job that's well known, or trained for... :idunno ... And I would say it's a rural situation. Yeah, with so many leaving family farms, it's gonna be difficult for even finding people to hire at any $. Self testing will be an option and we know that will require monitoring in some way.

At least you had a "visit" day. Always nice. 👍. Hope Geneva can help, even a few hrs.
 

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