Farmerjan's journal - Weather

Baymule

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@Bruce west Texas has always been many acres per cow, 50 to 30 acres. I can remember droughts where ranchers used flame throwers to burn the spines off prickly pear cactus, for the cattle to eat.

I see ads on Craigslist for cornstalk hay for cattle. Rolls are $85! We are in a bad drought, cornstalks and a protein lick tub will at least get cows through the winter.
 

farmerjan

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Monday night. Been some humid, muggy hot days. (90's mostly, with some spotty showers popping up here and there. It rained in Fairfield, 3 miles south of me today at VDOT DS said and we did not get a drop... just a few dark clouds but they were mostly south of here...

Went to Geneva's for lunch with the family yesterday and got to meet and talk to her boyfriend. Seems nice, and so does her sister's boyfriend. They are both farmers... layers for the sister's boyfriend family, beef cattle for Geneva's bf and they have trucks and contracts to haul poultry litter from a couple of BIG poultry farms around there... They are a couple hours apart but it works for the guys to ride together to come down and the girls to ride together to go up to their respective BF's.... there will be a couple weddings in the next year or 2 I am pretty sure.
Came home and didn't do alot here. Too hot and humid and I am still having these nagging headaches some days.
Stopped at the farm to see if the truck was there to move hay and no one was around. 2 trucks are hooked up to the trailers from Friday, and the bale truck was not there. Called DS last eve while up at the cow waiting for her to get done eating and no answer.
DS finally texted me today, and asked if I wanted to move round bales. I said I could and then told him about not being able to get with him yesterday and maybe do some and that I did not see the truck anywhere.
So, I went to the farm and got the truck and went out and moved about 24 or so at the one place, all down to the front area so he can load them on the trailer to bring them home. They were scattered all up through the field where he made them and this way he can just load them and not go gallivanting all over the field to collect them with the tractor and spear one at a time. There will be 2 loads and maybe a couple left to get with the truck. I did bring 2 home with me on the truck when I came back. There are 2 old bales there, along the fence in the trees that I am going to go back and try to lift and put on the truck to bring home for the garden. Probably won't use them til next year but there will still be usable stuff, and I plan to put them along the side of the garden that doesn't seem to grow stuff very good. Not sure what was there before but it is very poor growth on the striped crenshaw winter squash....
Neighbor texted me did I want any yellow squash... I saw them out in the yard when I came home from doing the hay and stopped. I really don't need them, but it was only about 6-8 squash, so I said I would take them. They will go in the freezer. I have to get out in the garden to see what is out there... haven't been out since I flipped the mower. Got to check the oil and see if it will start too. Just haven't gotten to it. Took the truck back and DS wanted to get in the last few cows to wean off the calves and get them run out to pasture... asked me to come back after I did my cow. So I left the truck, brought the car and went and did the cow... then went back. DS has been scraping, and leveling the place he is going to put the concrete pad for the silage pit.... and got about 1/2 to 2/3 of the stone down. He has done a pretty good job... he eyed it and then this evening took the transit and had a few places to cut down a little but it was within 16 inches difference from one side and end to end when he started. By the time he got done with the little smoothing.. he has an 10 inch fall from one end to the other....100 ft long... and he said barely 3-4 inches from side to side of 30 ft. That should be about perfect to not collect water.....but not too much difference from one end to another.

He called the cows in but not all of them came up and he did not want to chase after them. He was tired and the skid loader is not the smoothest riding thing so alot of jouncing around. Said that it would be better to not try to get after the cows in the heat. These are the 6 we bought as 3-in-1's at the sale several months ago. Going to wean off their calves... they were out with the ones that we pulled all the steer calves off of... and he wasn't sure about whether they needed to be weaned yet. There are a couple of cows that had heifer calves that we weaned off and kept in the small lot below the barn. Also another cow that has a calf that somehow did not get weaned in another lot there... so we just decided to make coming in to get the grain in the bunk in the barn a "good thing" and not bother them tonight. We will get all the calves and cows together and kick out all the cows and keep the calves there in the small field to wean them.
We talked about the bred cow sale this Wed that we were going to take the couple of cows to... and said it might not be worth making the trip for just 2-3 cows this month... plus he is pushing to get the "pad " grading done so they can form and then pour concrete asap.... he also said that if he could get the one big fat bull in that won't stay at pastures that we are going to sell, then he could also go... but there is grass there and they could wait for next month with all he has to do. I don't care one way or another. We'll play it by ear. I mentioned that I want to go to the sale tomorrow night that is at the local livestock market... that they advertised... he said he was not going to go but that would be good. I am not planning to buy any if the prices are as high as they seem to be trending. And the talk is that these bred cows and cow/calf pairs are going to get higher... so waiting til next month when mine are closer to calving might be better. He has one that has a crummy calf that he is wanting to sell also....might be less "push" with the concrete slab already poured by next month. Plus it will be a little cooler.... We'll see how tomorrow night goes and decide from there.

DS is going to my brother's in NY fishing on Monday and Tuesday with one of his Dr's that loves to fish. I think a few days away will be good for him. I plan to get a bunch of the hay moved when he is gone as the truck will be there and there will be no pressure. Might do some tomorrow, but I need to get new glasses and I did not go to town today. Wed I am testing and then might be getting cows in in the afternoon and going to the sale. Thursday morning I have a dentist checkup appt.... then will be going to the farm 125 miles away... he called today and asked if Th-Fr-Sat would work. Since I will be already 25 miles north of the house at the dentist... just makes sense to keep heading north. Called him back and he said Th would be great. I will be able to stop and do any errands, if I want to, and be there by 1 p.m. to test. It will be an all day thing by the time I do the dentist and drive to the farm, then test and then drive home... but I will get home by around 5-6 p.m. and can do the cow and then just "collapse" for the evening.
So we will play tomorrow by ear and then go from there.
DS said one of the guys at work wants to sell 2 cow/cf pairs... said he just has too many and needs to cut a few... he buys hay from us and is looking at the hay and the cow numbers..... They have been running with the bull so may very well be bred back... DS is going to look at them. Priced them at 1500 each, if he takes both... supposed to be younger cows... with prices they would be a decent buy... I will know more tomorrow after the sale...

Got in the shower and washed my hair a little bit ago when I got home... I was so sweaty from "doing nothing" it seems...got the fans on and it is not all that cool now. Got to eat something, stomach started to growl...
 
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Baymule

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All the things you do with trailers and tractors, do you travel and give lessons? Texas is nice in the spring…….

I have a learning curve, but I’m learning. Son has 2 old Massey’s one has a front end loader, but wasn’t born with the proper attachment, it’s just rigged up. I’m considering an 80 horse old Ford with proper gear for attachment for front end loader. It’s a 70’s ? Model and only $3500.
 

farmerjan

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What is the model of the Ford? We have a 4600 and a 6600. They are great tractors and fairly maneuverable. Good on fuel overall and very usable. Not hard to get on and off either... That is a very good price.... but that said, look at the drought and conditions, and farmers going out. There will be some more equipment for sale as people quit and money gets tight.
Things to consider is the number of hours on the tractor and look for things like any grease/oil leaks.... if there are oil and gas filters, look to see if the farmer has scratched the date on the filter. Most all farmers will scratch the date on the filter when it is changed.... they don't have time to go look at papers when they have a down day and can do things like normal maintenance, oil changes, greasing etc. All according to how much use the tractors get here, the filters get changed yearly or every couple years... I don't know what # of hours DS uses for guidelines. I will have to ask him.
You want to drive a tractor and see if the steering is easy to use, and if it seems tight while driving... don't want to feel like you turn the wheel for half a turn before the wheels actually turn. And the brakes... you want to step on them and have them stop..... PTO works on the back...also are there at least 2... preferable 4 "holes" in the back for hydraulic lines. Make sure there are no leaks in hydraulic lines although they are replaceable... but they are getting expensive....You won't see any leaks unless the tractor is running and you are using the hydraulic levers which puts the fluid into the lines so there is pressure... Beware of any "new paint"..... cleaned up by a pressure washer is fine... but you want to make sure that you get to try it so that once running the little "seeps and leaks" will show up.
 

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That is a very good price.... but that said, look at the drought and conditions, and farmers going out. There will be some more equipment for sale as people quit and money gets tight.

That may be the only good news about the drought since we need a tractor. Although bad news for farmers that are barely breaking even. Oh wait, that would be all of them! :(:hugs
 

farmerjan

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Wed... LONG DAY.... the biggest news is it started to POUR DOWN rain around 3-3:30 p.m. when we were getting the cows in the barn lot. And then it poured down again this eve around 8-9 on our way home from the stockyards.
They call 'em "Toad stranglers" for a reason.

Got up around 3:30 a.m. Went to the farm and got there about 5 for a supposed 5:30 milking. Everything is dark... The father doesn't get there 'til 5:15 or so, the daughter doesn't get there until after 5:30... and we don't get started milking until 6.... Could've slept another half hour or more....
Finally got done and left there around 10:30. Stopped at the Goodwill and did some looking. Bought an electrolux canister type vacuum with the power nozzle for $4.99... mostly like the one I have. Could not pass that up.... sure was not looking for one as mine works... but could never buy a new (er) one so I am glad to have it. Parts will interchange at the least. Yes, I plugged it in and it worked.

Stopped and filled up at a station... $3.19... if you paid cash... all the other stations were 3.24 if you used a card. We are down to 3.49 here but WOW....
Came home, packed the samples, DS texted and was going to be at barn after work to get the cows in as he was planning to take them after all...
So it had been very sunny and hot and muggy as all get out. But then around 2 it started to cloud a little in the west and then it started to get dark .... I met him at the barn and he went down and managed to get the bull in through the gate into the lot that comes up to the barn... and left him to hopefully meander his way up the hill, while we were going to see about getting in the cows from the field behind the barn. In the meantime, I was getting the gates and panels rearranged and the car parked crossways in a gap, and got the gates open for him to be able to drive his truck out in this field behind the barn for the "idiot " cows.
Got them out through the gate, into the little area and one ran back but the worst of them went right down the alley and into the barn lot. He backed up the truck and got the other one as she did not want to be left alone... It was POURING down rain at this point. I opened the gate, let him out and got my car back out and then sat there for a few minutes since it was pouring so hard. I was soaked right through to the skin. DS was sitting in his truck down closer to the barn... and he called and said did you ever???? I said I was waiting for it to let up a little so I could close that other gate and then I had to go home and get a dry shirt at least. He said to go get it and maybe it would have let up by the time I got back... 10 min or so.
I hung my dripping shirt in the bathtub and came back... it had let up some... got the gate closed and went into the barn. We sorted off the 3 calves, and then the bull came right up by the gate in that lot so he shut the cows in the barn and let the bull in.
Then we loaded the 5 cows and the bull... and left for the sale. Left those 3 calves in with 2 bull calves we sorted off yesterday.... the bull calves were off the 3-in-1 's that we bought... we left them bulls in case we decided that we wanted to keep one as a bull if by chance one was outstanding.... NOPE... not going to keep either as a bull. They are nice... will make nice steers, but nothing "extra special" to want to keep them as bulls. Tomorrow they will get banded and one of the 3 smaller calves will get treated for pinkeye... it is pretty bad. Since they would not come to the front of the field, we just didn't see it.
It rained so hard on the way up there it was hard to see.... It stopped by the time we got there. Unloaded and the bull and 2 cows were put in the cull cows... the bull weighed 2110 lbs... he was a big boy and looked good. Not a bad disposition but he would not stay where you put him and would go along and set his shoulder against a post and push... has broken at least 20 off .... got tired of his nonsense.
They sold decent. The bull brought 1.10 /lb... so that was a very nice deal... my 2 cull cows brought about what I paid for them, so it was a wash. They were not real big cows. The 3 we sold as breds did okay... not as good as I wanted after last night's high prices... but they weren't the quality as the ones last night. The bred heifer surprised me and brought $1100... and I am glad she is gone. She was not real big and she is an idiot. We are glad they are all gone... end of this bunch of problem animals. Didn't make a big profit, except the bull did real good....but didn't bury any or anything stupid because they got hurt or tried to kill themselves or something. Frees up another field (lot) there at the barn too.

Left to come home and it started to POUR down rain again... thunder, lightning...wind blowing....
So we are home.. It let up and I scrambled for the car and he got in the other truck and was leaving to go to GF.... We had fixed the gates for the calves earlier before we left, so they are fine for the night.
I'm going in to take a hot shower and get some sleep. I have to be at the dentist in the morning at 8... have to take the sample bottle tray that is ready... then go to the farm 125 miles north to test at 1 p.m.
I will look at the rain gauge in the morning but I would say over 1-2 inches between the 2 rains. Don't know if we are going to get anymore tonight and not worried about it. Hope this cools it down a little bit though. 90's and the humidity was making it feel like a sauna to just walk across the room...
 

Baymule

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Getting rid of idiot cows and the bull is a good day. Getting rain makes it even better. Why don’t you send me a pint jar of rain, I could pour it on the ground. I just KNOW it would attract more because rain doesn’t like to be all alone. LOL
 

Ridgetop

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Having to do all that loading and sorting in heavy rain, lucky they came in the barn! I wonder if the lower prices were because of some people deciding to give the sale a miss due to the heavy rain.
 

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