Tuesday, January 25, 2011
What's all the fuss about?
The cows are "bellying up to the salad bar". At least that is what I call it. The men feed silage in the morning. Silage is finely chopped mature corn-----the plant is usually still green and the ear of corn has just started to dry out. We chop silage usually in August and fill a trench that has been lined with concrete. It ferments and crusts over and is preserved for winter to feed the cattle. They love it! They listen for the tractor and watch from a distance as the men load the scoopsful of silage on the silage wagon. They try to wait patiently as the wagon empties the silage into the "salad bar", a concrete trough used only for that purpose.
As soon as the silage is all gone-----they eat every last morsel of it-----they head for the pond. We have in- ground concrete waterers behind the dams of all the ponds where the cattle can get water. If we didn't have them, we would have to cut the ice several times a day so the cattle could drink.
The cattle are also fed hay twice a day. Cattle eat all the time and they need plenty of nutrition to keep them warm.
Jason and Andrew are taking care of the cattle and spreading more fertilizer on corn ground. Stuart is hauling grain to St. Louis. They have really had to hustle. They have taken 45 loads of grain down for me and need to take 10 more loads to fill my January contracts. Jason also had a bunch of grain going down this month too. Most of the month, they have kept the grain truck going 24 hours a day. Stuart would go down during the day and Jason would go down during the night or sometimes they switch shifts. ADM has been open 24 hours a day all of January. Now, your really know that farmers don't sit in the house in the winter. Jason told me the other day that he felt they were working harder in the winter than they did during crop season. He said it had a lot to do with fighting the weather. None of the equipment runs as well in snow and cold temperatures------and then they have to dodge the poor road conditions with the grain hauling.
I think I'll work on Dragons' Lair.