Thursday, June 30, 2011

making lemonade

The extremely wet spring and early summer, combined with a somewhat reduced cattle stocking rate resulted in pastures going to seed before we could react. Grasses in full seed are less than palatable to the cattle. We had practiced "long grazing" for the last two years to help our grasses to get better established, but had planned going back to a more normal practice this year. However, nature made up our minds for us.

The wet season also will make for fewer acres of small grains planted in the area, shortening our potential supply of bedding for the hogs and since the corn was all planted very late, it will not do to count heavily on being able to bale cornstalks, which is our other main bedding source. So we have been clipping the pasture paddocks after the cattle finish grazing, and then baling the mature grass stalks and leftover weeds to use as bedding in the hog areas. It is called "making lemonade" and farming involves quite a bit of it! I wish we could figure out a similar fix for the price and availability problems with corn, our main hog feed ingredient. We will just have to see what turns up.