|The Herd in the Summer|
For many years we were building a herd of registered Angus cows. Each year, we would breed the mother cows to an excellent bull, using artificial insemination (A.I.). Then, in the spring, the babies would be born, which was the best of all! We would keep all the little females (heifers), and raise them to become mother cows. We raised the little males (bull calves) to sell to 4-H and FFA kids. The kids would train them, feed them, and take them to the county and state fairs in our region. These were extremely high quality animals, and they made great show steers. In the summer and fall, the mother cows and calves would be on pasture, and then in the winter and spring, we would feed them alfalfa-grass hay. It was something we all enjoyed very much.
|That's Heidi on the far left, and Lady Diana, #515, in front.|
Diana weighed 1,400 lbs., a huge cow.
They were both real sweeties.
Because we love the cattle so much, and have plenty of pasture, we buy a few young steers (castrated bulls) at the livestock auction each spring to raise over summer. They eat the grass, and then in late fall, we sell them as beef to our friends. It works out great.
The three cropped fields are leased to our farmer, (who we hope to profile soon). He farms our ground plus his own family farm and our neighbor's bigger farm. Each year, he plants 3 different crops on our place. He rotates a different crop onto each field each year, to keep the soil healthy. The crops that are grown on our farm are field corn (cow food), seed corn (seed to plant for corn), sugar beets (sugar!), dry beans (pintos and kidneys), soft white winter wheat (sold to Asia, for their special noodles) and carrot seed.
|Dormant field, photo taken today 2/21/13. The field |
is bedded up in the fall, to retain moisture in the soil.
Our farm is irrigated by gravity flow, using syphon tubes. The irrigation in this region was developed in the early 1900's. Of course, at that time, pumps and electricity for sprinkler irrigation hadn't been developed yet, so the water delivery ditches, field sizes and shapes were laid out following the natural contours of the land, so that the water could be delivered on the high side of each field, and flow gently down the furrows to the low side. This is an old fashioned but effective and efficient method which is still used in many places all over the U.S. today. When we begin irrigating this season, I'll take some photos of the tubes in action (it's really exciting-water coming out of a tube!)
Thanks for reading!