Misfitmorgan's Journal - That Summer Dust

misfitmorgan

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We had a very busy but not so productive weekend.

We got the final things done on the haybine and hay rake. Got our friends tractor running/tune-up so we could use it with the haybine we got running....same friend owns them both. The deal was we got the tractor running and fluids changed etc we could use it, we buy a tire and bearing for the haybine and install them and we could use it. So we agreed and thats what we did.

By the time all the running around was done and everything was running and ready we didnt get to cut until Saturday evening. Went back Sunday around noon with our new rake which we got the hub installed on, and the 2 missing teeth, all greased etc and our jubilee tractor.

We hoped it would be ready to rake, not a chance. Humidity was 78% all day sunday, so even though it was sunny and we had a good breeze it just was not drying. The field is super thick because the lack of rain means the grass grew short and thick. Monday morning we checked on it as soon as the dew was off....still looked like we had just cut everything that wasn't on the very surface. We left and loaded our lambs for the auction.

Then the rain came.....luckily we only had 6 rows on the outside cut to open the field. So we lost about 400 bales as it got washed really really good, like over an inch of rain. I checked the weather everyday for the week before we cut, no rain at all forecasted. Then satuday night, 46% chance of 0.15" of rain on monday NIGHT. We actually got that over an inch of rain between 1pm and 7pm, half an inch around 1pm in 20 minutes and the rest between 6-7pm. Those came along with thunder, lightening and wind up to 60mph.

Compared to others we didnt lose much. Many other farmers we know got wiped out by the storm. The three worst we know of had 45 acres completely washed, another guy had 15 acres washed, and DH ex-boss had 20 acres washed. No one expected the humidity or the freak storm. We now also have rain called for today, tomorrow, and saturday so I doubt we will be cutting anything until next week at best.

In other news we got the lambs to the auction...with some struggle. We tried to take them last monday and had the front left tire delanminate....not far outside of the town by us. Went home and we changed the tire. Looked over all the other tires they all looked fine. Head out yesterday, all seems good. We got an hour and a half from our house and felt some not right vibration. The right front tire broke a belt somehow :barnie We ended up calling around and got a used tire slapped on for $40. Problem was firstly most places were closed for the holiday, and secondly the lambs were in the back of the truck inside the camper top. It was 91F by the time this happened and air only moves thru the cab when we are moving. The shop we found was amazing, as soon as we got there they stuck us in a bay, jacked up the truck and had the tire swapped out ready for us to leave in 10 minutes. I mean we didnt even get out of the truck. I was never so happy we left 4hrs early for something in my life, we made it to the auction with 45mins to spare. Our lambs did well, we got $2.35/lb which was the second highest at the auction. A single lamb that was exactly 100lbs got $2.40/lb.

I think we would have done better if they had separated ours. They sold them as an entire group which means the mutt lambs pulled down the average weight to 82lbs. I'm mostly annoyed about it because we asked them if they would split the group into light and heavy and they said yes...they normally do. No idea what happened there but we are overall happy with the price we got for this time of year.

Now since I have no self control when a jersey heifer calf came thru the ring....we bought it. She was $24 and a bottle calf. Supposedly she was a single calf just born later then the farmer wanted and she got colostrum and was vaccinated. So assuming that is true she will be AI'ed with our angus heifer calf in 18 months and become our milk cow. If that is not true or she doesnt take the AI she will just be kept as a companion for our angus heifer calf. It actually works out well because otherwise our angus heifer calf would have been alone when the steers went to market/slaughter. So we now have 4 bottle calves, shortly here the Holstein bottle boys will be separated and weaned off of bottles as they are already 6 weeks old and eating well.
 
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misfitmorgan

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I figured out the first calves we got are now 14 months old. Time flies I had no idea they were so old already. If we want them to make a 18 month butcher date we are going to have to get them away from the sheep so they can be grained properly. We were expecting them to weigh between 850-950 lbs at 18 months and atm they look someplace around 600-650lbs.

Need more time in the day...like everyone else does!!! I dont know when we are going to have time to get up electric fence for the cows to be moved.
 

farmerjan

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I have no idea what is going on this year with hay fields. We got offered another 80 acres on shares and had to say no. It's just to much hay for the two of us to handle alone since it would be all square bales. I can not hand load, then hand unload and stack 140 acres of square bales. It would kill us not to mention we would have no where to put it and not enough time to sell it around the 9-5.

We have a ton of people who "moved to the country" who want to show us hicks how to farm the "proper" way. Meanwhile they know nothing about farming besides what they have seen on movies, tv shows and social media. I guess they just thought we were to stupid to realize we were selling out hay cheap, I dunno. 9 out of 10 just think they can bring their trailer and we are going to load it for them from our already loaded trailer sitting in the field. We had one set of people who we told they had to load their own trailer that is why it is cheaper, they literally DROVE over to out loaded trailer and started pulling hay off.....umm no. The 3 of them managed to load 30 bales from the field before saying they could not do anymore. We ended up delivering and stacking 150 bales for them at a much higher price then the field hay. It was ridiculously hilarious.


Would be so amazing if they understood it here!! Had a lady call for "hay out of the field" and got mad because she couldnt pick it up 4 days later.....you know after it was taken off the field and stacked in our barn, for the same low price. That one actually called us scammers :lol:
Idiot cidiots.. :barnie :barnie :he:he:duc:duc:duc:duc:duc...and honestly, if they were horse people, I am not surprised.....most of them want something cheap and then you do the work ....when you are expecting them to do the work.... that is why it is cheaper.....
Yep, been there done that @misfitmorgan .... time and again... and now we just don't.....
Another reason for us to have the round baler... besides the time savings of feeding all the cows.... we can and have taken advantage of hay that is offered.... and at least round baled, we lose little on the outside... but it is just time and costs to make it....
 

farmerjan

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One thing to think about the lambs.... not being separated.... although it brought down the average weight of the lambs... it might have been to your advantage if the "mutt lambs" were lighter and maybe not as nice as the others? I am not criticizing them... just that you for paid for the total weight you sold... if they had been split, you might have gotten a few cents more for the "heavy lambs" and maybe less for the lighter ones... so it might have been a better deal this way since this is not the "hot lamb market timing"....
And maybe not. That is about what they have been bringing here so I think you did okay....

Sorry your hay got wet.... been there done that more than once over they years....
Is there any market for mulch hay?????Even a couple dollars a bale will get most of your out of pocket costs paid for and get it out of your way.... you might try some landscapers.....or guys withy heavy equipment that do grading on different building projects....Some "have to have straw" , but many will use hay as a cover to prevent erosion... ditching and such hay works good too.... full bales in ditches with a stake through them to hold in place....
Just some suggestions as with your limited space, you don't want to store that inside if you don't have to....

If you are having trouble getting it dried with the humidity... as we often do.... a hay tedder is an absolute necessity.... with real humid weather we have been known to tedd more than once if we are pushing to get it dried to get it baled... I know where you are coming from. Our tedder is priceless....especially when we sq bale... to get it as dry as possible so there is no heating etc...when we stack it in the barns or on the wagons to store....

We got a 15% chance downpour a couple weeks ago too... basically out of no where and very localized.... comes with the territory as you well know.

On your calves... if they are the holsteins, you are going to have to really feed them to get enough "meat" on them because they are famous for growing bone and frame first....I don't want you to be disappointed by the ratio of useable meat if they are not "finished",; because holsteins finish at 12-1400 lbs ..... beef animals will finish at lighter weights, and like @Baymule 's steer... he did good for them, but he got fed real good to get the growth to marble. The dairy breeds just grow more before they put on "meat/muscle" ....
I am trying to be helpful... not critical....

I take it the other calves you got that had gotten sick are past the scours and all and doing good? Hope so....
Congrats on the jersey heifer calf.... they are just so cute....hope she is a "good one" and able to breed....
 

misfitmorgan

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One thing to think about the lambs.... not being separated.... although it brought down the average weight of the lambs... it might have been to your advantage if the "mutt lambs" were lighter and maybe not as nice as the others? I am not criticizing them... just that you for paid for the total weight you sold... if they had been split, you might have gotten a few cents more for the "heavy lambs" and maybe less for the lighter ones... so it might have been a better deal this way since this is not the "hot lamb market timing"....
And maybe not. That is about what they have been bringing here so I think you did okay....

Sorry your hay got wet.... been there done that more than once over they years....
Is there any market for mulch hay?????Even a couple dollars a bale will get most of your out of pocket costs paid for and get it out of your way.... you might try some landscapers.....or guys withy heavy equipment that do grading on different building projects....Some "have to have straw" , but many will use hay as a cover to prevent erosion... ditching and such hay works good too.... full bales in ditches with a stake through them to hold in place....
Just some suggestions as with your limited space, you don't want to store that inside if you don't have to....

If you are having trouble getting it dried with the humidity... as we often do.... a hay tedder is an absolute necessity.... with real humid weather we have been known to tedd more than once if we are pushing to get it dried to get it baled... I know where you are coming from. Our tedder is priceless....especially when we sq bale... to get it as dry as possible so there is no heating etc...when we stack it in the barns or on the wagons to store....

We got a 15% chance downpour a couple weeks ago too... basically out of no where and very localized.... comes with the territory as you well know.

On your calves... if they are the holsteins, you are going to have to really feed them to get enough "meat" on them because they are famous for growing bone and frame first....I don't want you to be disappointed by the ratio of useable meat if they are not "finished",; because holsteins finish at 12-1400 lbs ..... beef animals will finish at lighter weights, and like @Baymule 's steer... he did good for them, but he got fed real good to get the growth to marble. The dairy breeds just grow more before they put on "meat/muscle" ....
I am trying to be helpful... not critical....

I take it the other calves you got that had gotten sick are past the scours and all and doing good? Hope so....
Congrats on the jersey heifer calf.... they are just so cute....hope she is a "good one" and able to breed....
Very true on the lambs!

We waited and waite and waited for that washed hay to dry. We raked it twice and finally on Sunday evening it was dry enough to bale. So we started baling then found out our one roll of twine had a wet spot in the middle of it and since it was sisal it kept breaking. Our own fault for apparently picking a bad place to keep it where it somehow got leaked on. So monday after work we bought new twine and baled, moisture meter read out 14% so not at all bad for hay that got 3" of rain on it. The craziest part is when we raked it after sitting in the field for a week....everything under the top was still green like it had just been cut a few hours earlier. I guess we can thank the humidity and rain for that. We finally got everything baled and the trailer there at 9pm. We loaded everything we could on the truck and trailer, about 150 bales.

Then we headed home.....about 1.2 mile into the trip DHs floor switch broke which means he lost his headlight completely on the truck. Luckily I had our "new" truck there as well so he followed me home in the dark with our 4-ways on at 40mph. Luckily our hay field is only 14.5 miles from our house. Then all day yesterday it rained on the bales we left in the field....we knew it would, it was forecasted but we didnt have much of a choice. Meanwhile all the animals love the hay we brought home, go figure. We were down to 2 days of hay left so they are eating the rained on brought home hay. One of our friends is going to take the field bales to a friend of his with cows so they can eat it up quick before it gets moldy/dusty. We will be cutting again on Friday so long as the weather stays clear, atm it says we are clear until the 22nd. Thunderstorm/rain today and tomorrow.

Now for our new hay equipment....it all worked great! The rake runs like a dream, never been bent thankfully, the baler took about 30 bales to scrub the insides before she ran real smooth but she is a bale making beast happy to be working again. The springs on the front dogs where the PTO connects to the flywheel(can't recall the name atm) are picky because they are worn out so you have to mess with it until it locks in but then it stays. We will be replacing them as soon as we are done baling this field, as well as investigating a bit of a wheel wobble you only see when pulling it down the road, and sharpening the bale knife. Honestly we couldnt ask for any better of a performance from a $50 baler that just cost us grease and WD-40 so far.

The calves are all doing well and getting along fine. Peanut is becoming more and more friendly, Ginny is already very friendly and interested in people. I mean the fact that we are the milk suppliers I am sure has nothing to do with it. Ginny also seems to want to be friends with Issac which is cute.

DH bought and brought home a new Berkshire Sow to breed to our hereford boar.....im not to pleased personally but whatever I guess. He only got her because she is about 450lbs and was $100, from a guy we know who breeds good clean stock. So I guess his plan is to hold back a gilt from each of the 3 girls to replace them and then buy a new hereford boar. Everyone else goes down the road to the auction/ or wherever, except the new berk sow she will be getting made into whole hog sausage. We have 3lbs of breakfast sausage left and about 12 lbs of italian sausage left from our last pig. We are running out of cuts of pork as well but not much can be done about that atm.

We are making progress on finishing my sisters house so she can list it for sale. It is literally taking forever! Got countertops on and sink installed last night. So finish up the details on that then tile the backsplash, remove one vanity in a bathroom, paint a bathroom, install bathroom flooring, a new vanity, and a new toilet, finish switching out the outlets and light switches, put one more coat of white paint on the doors then re-install the doorknobs. That should be it! But I am trying really hard to get it all done before saturday/sunday when I will need to rake hay and then help load the trailer and truck several times.

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BTW the laminate countertop you buy off the shelf from Home Depot.....dont do it. It looks great as far as laminate goes honestly but the pre-made stuff is a ridiculous pain to install. If you want to do laminate order it measured and pre-made so the build ups are all where they need to be, the off the shelf ones come with tiny blocks to use to build it up and it is just stupid. Also the corner seams dont line up perfectly and what a pain it is. We also had to use scrap counter top to make more build up blocks so the sink clips have something to hook onto. Also do not get a 30" square cornered sink for a 33" cabinet.....it says it fits and technically yes it does if you cut the cabinet supports and can fit your hand in a 1.5" gap to tighten the sink clamps. In the end it looks nice enough but it took 10hrs of work and the end caps are not installed yet. Typically laminate install is suppose to be 30-60 minutes. :lol:
 
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