Farmerjan's journal - Weather

CLSranch

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First.... there is NO hunting, trapping, fishing allowed on these 2 farms we lease...
I thought between you, DS and Deb you had a few acres or pastures that were not leased. They could be miles away and still help.
My worry is neighbors dogs.
. problem is we never see them... just hear them and see some tracks...
That's why traps work. If possible having them where you can see with some binoculars with out going out of your way. I don't think either one of us are serious enough to sit and call at night in the cold with ridiculously expensive night optics. I've looked at them. I'll never own a $2K scope or even a gun scope combo. I've been reading some of the hunting magazine new gun reviews saying it's a reasonably priced rifle at $1,600 HAH.

The big spider plants have not come back... the couple that had some healthy green are starting to look a little better..
I used to keep those in the camper. I had one in the camper for 5-6 years. Showed up late to a job one night so I just got a motel that night and found a campground the next day after work. That's all it took to kill it. Haven't had anything else stay alive that long since.
 

farmerjan

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@CLSranch ... we do have 2 owned farms... 80 acres that is 30+/- miles away, and the "main farm" that we call doug's farm.. approx 100 ac., we bought it off his widow after renting it for years after doug passed away... that is close... and the couple of guys that hunt will shoot any coyotes since we lost the one big male that was at doug's for several years and never bothered anything... so we coexisted well... when he got shot on some other property nearby, a couple of other coyotes moved in and we had problems. DS had a couple of friends that came in with night scopes and such and got 5 in 2 nights, when they got into the sheep at his house... his house and 5 acres backs up to part of doug's farm.... they were coming in through the pastures there and into his yard and killing the sheep. "Doug's farm" is actually half of the original 200+ acre farm that he and his brother bought... we bought doug's half and rent his brother's half from his brother's widow....
Anyway, the coyote and bear problems are at another place that is about 15+ miles away... and this owner's other place is 15+ miles in another direction... not like we can see them from anywhere....

Deb's place is 1/2 mile from me, and it is just hayed. She and her husband had a couple of horses that they rode doing jousting.... since he died, she sold one and moved the other to another stable where a young woman was riding him and competing... since she lives close to Wash DC she has him close there. I think that the girl has gone to college now, and not sure what she is going to do with him... it was his horse... don't know if she is ever going to move out here.... it was more his "dream" I think although she likes to come out, she has no family close here... She did have a retired mare here that belonged to a friend that I used to take care of/check on for the summer a few years ago, out on grass pasture, but she got moved back after the weather got colder and I think she has since passed away so not coming out for summer retirement grazing. She was over 20... sweet dispositioned mare.

We rent several places in order to be able to put cattle out to pasture for summer grazing... Most of doug's farm (his half) is crop ground.... all of the other half that was his brother's is all pasture... we will have that as long as the widow is alive... and she only has a son to leave it to (her daughter died of brain cancer last year at 45... tragic) and his health has some problems... even if he decided to move out here...with wife and step children, talk was building a house at one time.... he will never farm so we probably would have the rent as long as we still own doug's... It is within a mile or 2 of the interstate (and borders the interstate along one whole side) so could be very easily be turned into commercial since the piece next to it is commercial, and all the rest of the properties from there right to the interstate... Eventually it may be worth a small fortune and he could sell and then go buy a farm all in one piece and not have to rent other land. We can only run about 50 head there at doug's, on william's pastures, and only about 35 head on the 80 acres at his other place. That number of cattle cannot make the payments... so we rent other land, and have greater numbers so that they can at least pay the mortgages... and grow feed on a couple of the places and bring the cattle home close for the winter for feeding ease.
We can grow enough hay with rented ground and the crop ground at doug's. We grow about 10-15 acres of corn to make silage... small time by most farmer standards... but it gives us the ability to feed more calves, to now hold animals to try to sell at better times of the year rather than having to pull them off the cows at weaning and sell them right then. We can sell sq bales to horse, sheep, and llama people which helps to make some money at hay making so helps to pay for our hay also. I never planned to be this big, but it is what he started working towards, and he is the one that is going to be benefitting from it.... if we had stayed small and only had 20-30 cows as a hobby farm, we might be out of it by now... I wanted a 20-30 cow dairy... with the way things have been, I would not be milking cows still, because of the costs and all, that have put all the small dairies out of business....plus the 365 day committment... DS is not into milking cows, so maybe it is a blessing I did not get my dairy... he tolerates my few dairy cows, and I get to have them as nurse cows and it doesn't cost me any out of pocket for hay or pasture... just my grain.... and I get to do the "tractor time" that I have always liked in the hay fields. It is not perfect... but I am not sitting in an apartment, "retired" and getting old doing nothing.... just wasting away... I am still doing most of what I like, and not killing myself doing it but not just sitting in a retirement home feeling useless.... and I am not dealing with some of these stupid landowners because I do not have the tact or tolerance, to do it anymore... I have little patience for stupid people....especially wealthy stupid people that buy these mini farms then rent them out with all these big ideas of what "someone else", meaning a farmer, SHOULD DO according to what they have studied and read up on.....book knowledge is fine, I read alot... but if you have never done it, don't tell me what I should or shouldn't do because you studied up on it....
When I am renting your place, I am doing so, so that I can realize some sort of benefit from doing so... and that is why we have given up a few over the years.... Increasing "advice" from landowners that don't have any practical experience doing any of it, don't want to get tied down themselves to taking care of the animals, and think their land is worth a king's ransom since cattle prices must be so good since meat costs so much in the store...means that it is no longer worth it to me to rent it.
We do our very best to do more for the land than we take. We do as much rotational grazing that we can. We do not graze the grass into the dirt. We have a couple places we have had for 20 years and the owners have said that they appreciate that the land is in better shape than it has ever been. We don't always pay the most but we don't take from the land to the point of depleting it. We have been outbid and lost some places. We have had a few call us back and ask if we will come back after giving places to others because of more money...and usually we say no because we have to go back and fix and redo things that have been set back. It is not worth it.
 

farmerjan

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Today was a long day and did not get done half what I wanted. But I did get about all the "running" I needed to do, done. So that was a plus.... did not get back to get much of anything done here before dark though. Went up and fed the calves and got the chickens locked in and it was dark. So, tomorrow morning I need to get some things done before the rain comes in, which is supposed to be later afternoon. It will be a good day to work here then feed calves early and come in early. I did not get down to check on the explorer, but can run down the couple miles in the morning on the way home from doing bottles.

Got the shovel out of the shed to take out when I let the chickens out in the morning. Get the 2x6 uncovered along the other side so I can maybe get it swung around... have to see once I get it lifted up if I can swing it around by myself a little at a time, without messing it up... might need 2 people on the end so it can be moved around together... I'll see in the morning. DS called and asked if I could pick him up at Deb's so he could put the one truck in the arena under roof... and so I did and he asked if I had called the guy about testing the 500 cow herd... and I did but he does not have voice mail so it said that he was unavailable and to call back later... So, I tried one more time, and will have to call him in the morning... DS said could we do it Sat morning or Tues or Wed next week... It is a morning test this time... Would like to do it Sat if possible since he would not have to take time off work....

Going to quit and go to bed.
 

CLSranch

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DS had a couple of friends that came in with night scopes and such and got 5 in 2 nights, when they got into the sheep at his house...
Maybe DS can get them out annually or a few times every fall.
I've lost every lease I've had for I/they can make more money off of doing this or that. Had to sell every cow I owned once. Would love to buy and have wanted to for some time. Now it's 4-5X what it was when I wanted land originally and told no loan for you, no revolving credit. Hindsight is 20x20. I could've put that $$$ in a IRA and paid cash, back before land doubled again after Biden took office. But I got a lot of good stories out of that $ not well spent.lol
 

Mini Horses

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@CLSranch I'm thankful every day for the land I bought, live on, from several yrs back. The land is 3x what I pd, nothing to do with Biden. Just the growth around, loss of farm land, my location, etc. I expect another 50% up before I die here &/or it's sold. I laugh as I think about IF I had to buy my home today -- I could NOT afford it! 😂 Does that mean I live beyond my means now 🤣🤣🤔😁 nope.
 

CLSranch

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Here it doubled from early 2020 to 2022. Even in places where it's a good half hour drive to a gas station and 10 minutes to pavement, no fences, no water, electric. But they're getting it. Largely due to pot farms, china, people from California and those $1mill loans given to foreigners. It went up the same amount closer to town but since it cost more already it didn't double it.
 

farmerjan

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Friday... already noon. Day did not go as planned at all. Got up, got things ready to go to calves. DS called and asked if I was available... neighbor took his cattle out and one of the 2 bulls was over there. Wanted to know if I could go help get the bull in.... So I said I was headed up to feed the calves and could be ready in 15-20 min... He said he'd meet me at doug's in 45 minutes. So, I ran up and fed the bottles I was making, came home turned the chickens out and got a couple things put in under cover in the carport. Went to the farm. DS came in about 5 minutes later... I got a bucket of feed and closed the trailer door, DS fed out a roll of hay in the lot that he wanted to get in and out before it got slick from rain (there's quite a steep slope going in and out the gate there)... and we left. Got to the neighbor's house... he is older and now is having some problems with macular degeneration so not seeing as well, but is still has sheep and dogs. This place backs up to where we had the trouble with the coyotes getting the calves... and when we moved the cows into the front field, the bull went across to visit their cattle...
He went with us and we backed up to the lane that goes from one field back out to another field... then went walking looking for the bull. He luckily was not too far down along the fence where "his" cows were.... and there out in the field is a big coyote just trotting around... coyote took off; then DS took the bucket of grain and called the bull and he followed along the fence where the cows were also coming along it on their side... and went down the lane and went right in the trailer... DS fed the rest of the grain to the cows across the fence... and we came back to doug's. Took him up in the back to the field that DS had just moved the cows up back to, on stockpiled grass, since they need to have a bull in with them. They have calves on them, born in Oct/Nov.... time to start breeding back. This gets the bull away from any other cattle and we didn't have to deal with him going in with the bulls and getting into the typical "fighting for dominance" posturing that the bulls do..... and worrying about someone getting hurt... There is also one bull in there that we need to sell, he has a large swelling on one leg and he has some age on him so time to go.... not going to worry with vet costs when it is time for him to go and we have acquired 4 new younger bulls in the last 2 years. Looks like a big hematoma... don't really know what it is... but kill / cull bulls are high right now, so he ought to do good.

This PITA landowner told DS just 2 days ago, ABSOLUTELY NO HUNTING, NOT EVEN THE COYOTES.... that we needed to put a donkey or a llama in there to "DETER" the coyotes. The neighbor who has the sheep and rents these big fields to this other farmer with the cows.... has nothing good to say about the one we rent from... says he doesn't know anything about farming or anything like that... and has some real stupid thoughts and ideas and too much money and no common sense.

If DS had had a gun with us, he would have shot at the coyote from the neighbors field... neighbor says it is fine with him and that if he could see them better he would be shooting them. So we are looking for a full sized mule, preferably a jenny... to run out there and can go out with the cows with small calves at one of the fields here for the winter. The cows will be coming back from this place within a month. Weather will also determine some of it. If we are forecast for any snow, they will come out sooner rather than later, because it is a bitch to get in and out of there if there is snow and wet....

Wish we could get this other place to rent... but we will not undermine another farmer. DS said he told him that if he ever changes things, or the guy doesn't want to rent it, to let him know... the sad thing is this guy is 75, and health/eyes are really slowing him down... they have 300 acres... boy that would be nice... I don't know if they have kids but I think so. None are on the farm at all that I know of.

500 cow dairy is going to test tomorrow morning... I have to get the boxes of the bottles into the car sometime today... I have some stuff in there to get out of the car....

It started to sprinkle before and getting a little light rain now.
I went out and watered all the plants in the greenhouse on the deck. Made up some water with plant food for them. I see a few little tiny green sprigs in the big pots of the frozen spider plants... not sure if it is new leaves coming up or some weed seeds that have sprouted. So, I watered them all good with the plant food water...

Might take some time and get the clothes in the basket, that came off the line last weekend, folded and put away... going to work on some more stuff that needs sorting and all that. Unpacked another box that came from my parents.... but I have got to get the lower cabinets painted so I can get them fixed up with pull out slides to hold the things I have been unpacking and washing... things like cupcake baking pans and all that sort of stuff... I need to go through and completely clean off the desk.... there is alot of stuff piled on here that I need to go through and organize, file away, or throw out.

I just ate another sliced chicken sandwich for some lunch. It is cloudy/foggy out there and damp/raw outside.
 
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Ridgetop

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Too bad you can't buy out the other half (Doug's brother's farm) and have the 200 acres in one place. Still being able to lease it right next to your own is a benefit.

There are 39 acres next to us in Yantis that we would like to buy. We should have tried to buy both when we bought our place and divided up the money between the two places. That would have given us 80 acres. The guy that bought it was going to build a bunch of houses but decided that it would not work for him with the economy. Now he is asking double what he bought the land for and we can't afford that without selling the house in California, paying capital gains, and then overpaying for the land. that land is just hay, no fences, the house has collapsed into the cellar. There is a pond and well but who knows if the well is still good, there is an old garage in bad shape. The only thing that would be worth keeping would be the old metal hay barn which is on the side f the property next to us. If property dropped we could sell our rental house and buy the land, but the rental house pays for itself so . . . .

Land is always a good investment as long as you can pay the taxes and maintenance.
 

farmerjan

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Saturday... Got up and picked DS up at a few minutes after 3 a.m.... went and tested the 500+ cow herd... it went smooth and we were home by 10:30.... DS was going to feed the silage at the barn while it was not raining... then was going to go to his rental house and see what the deal is with the well... the water is dirty... they don't know if there is a problem in the well, or if a line has cracked or broken or what... It probably will be a long day for him...
I came home, got the bottles and went to feed the calves. They were very glad to see me... put a little grain in their bunk feeder in the barn near the hay... looks like they might be nibbling on the grain a little. I fed grain in the other side to the calves that come in the creep feeder..... Came home and Deb had called and was out to the farm... She had to go to town, wanted to know if I wanted to come for supper, and could she help with the frame for the shelter? ... So, she came by and we moved the 2x6 (and it has 2x8's on the sides I measured) frame around the bottom,... to the opposite direction from where it was; about where I wanted it.... and also moved the "frame" for the shelter around too so it is near abouts where I want it when I stand it back up again... I had to do some shovel work to get some of it more leveled out for the ground boards....she went to the store and was going to stop back and help me set the frame up .....
I got the shovel work done to take out the couple of "humps" in the ground... but I had decided that I want to raise the one end a bit so it is a little more level... and then the bedding inside will not lay against, or on top of, the wood that the legs sit on as much... so told Deb I wanted to look at it more and maybe decide what to do to raise up the one end a bit... she was suggesting digging out the higher end and putting blocks under it, but then it will be more in contact with the dirt.... So, I am going to ruminate on it a bit. Then if I do decide to put something under the end to raise it a bit, it will not have the frame sitting on it and make it harder/heavier to raise up....Hopefully DS will get jim and help get it up and covered this coming week or next weekend.

Got all the samples in the house since they were calling for more rain this evening. Picked up the shovel and hammers and stuff out at the chicken shelter area.

Got 2 more bottles and went up to feed the calves... they were not quite as ravenous since it hadn't been real long since they got fed, but they are done and in for the night. Locked the chickens in and went to Deb's. She made a pumpkin soup and it was a little spicy but very good. We sat around and caught up on the last month and then I came home. I am tired and she was too...
Next I am going in to get a shower, get all warm and cozy, and go to bed and catch up on the sleep I didn't get last night.

It is raining again after just being cloudy and fairly comfortable today.. Hit 60 and no breeze so not bad out there. We got the rain yesterday afternoon and last night and I had .6 in the rain gauges this morning. Dumped them and now it is raining again... slow - steady which is perfect. Tomorrow is supposed to get up near 70 .... and rain stops in the morning...

We were downgraded from "Extreme drought" to "Severe drought" on the drought monitor that came out Thursday... This will really help some more.

I'm quitting for the night.
 

farmerjan

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Sunday noontime. It only got down to 52 last night, and is up to 62. It was foggy this morning and then just cloudy, but there are a few little blue spots in the sky. Today may hit 70 the forecast says... like @Mini Horses said, last week (5 days ago) we had the coldest night so far, with several in the 20's... and today will be above average warm....
The best thing is we had .9 rain last night... on top of the .6 we had Friday night... all part of several bands of weather going east... But we are so thankful for this. Especially since it was warmer, it was soaking in better than if the ground was frozen.

Calves fed and came back home. Had to stop and get a bag of ice... I have 6 gallons of milk from testing yesterday morning that I brought home. Got them in the big cooler chest, so iced them down to keep them from going sour. The way the samplers are set up on this farm, once I get my sample I cannot put the rest of the milk in the sampler back into the line... so it gets dumped. So I had thought about it last minute and put a couple of 2 gallon buckets in the car and a 1 gallon bucket I had... and collected that dumped milk into the buckets to bring home. I am going to use it to extend the milk replacer... I won't replace it because then when I run out the calves would get switched back and forth... but this way I can use it like half and it will not change the taste as much and they will get the added benefit of some real milk and save me some money. Wish I had a couple of 5 gallon buckets that were clean and empty to take when we went to test. I didn't get 1/2 of what we dumped... but some is better than none.

Guess I am keeping them since I tested yesterday which is the day I would have taken them to the stockyard... and they are drinking good so not having to fight with them helps alot. They are starting to eat/mouth/play with some grain so they will start eating it more. I even had a passing thought about getting a couple more...but think I should just stick with these for now. If I did get more they would come off a dairy... I will tell my dairy farmer close by that if he has any jersey bull calves I will take them since they don't bring anything at the sale and they make good eating.... He always asks me if I want them when they have some, and I have said no in the past since I was only raising them on nurse cows... but another bottle calf would not be the end of the world at this point. I have 2 calf hutches here at the house DS got me at an auction and the plan was to use them for shelters here once I got some fence. I can just as easily use them as calf pens... the only reason I haven't brought home the other 2 is they wouldn't have but a 4x6 little tiny lot in front of the calf hutch and they are doing too good in the small side of the barn and the lot out front they can get out in the sun and run a bit. Sometimes, if it's not broke don't "fix it".... even though it is a pain to have to drive up there to the barn twice a day.

So, I am going to eat some lunch. Chickens are out and the cats are out and have been watching them out in the overgrown grass... they are sitting and watching and that is where they have gotten some of the moles... bless them for every one they catch...

Woke up with a headache, think I slept wrong. Plus, it might be time to get a new mattress or at least a topper... often wind up with back aches when I get up. Need to take something more to try to get rid of it.

I need to work on getting the samples packed... it is too wet out there to do alot today. I do have an idea for the chicken frame boards on the ground though. I have some broken off treated fence posts in that pile of wire/posts that I had been taking the posts out of... might see about using some of them under the 2x6's and 2x8's on the one end to just raise it up some... no extra expense....was going to use them around the front porch to make defined flower bed... this might be a better use for them...
 
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