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Kim Jo Bliss - Moo's From The Herd

Summer is sneaking by quickly

Wow, here we are in the last week of June. Summer is sneaking past us rather quickly.

Many of the dairy farms have competed their first cut of hay while we beef farmers are just thinking about getting started. I hope to start this week–so I likely will make it rain!

The fields look decent despite the cold, slow start. Mind you, looking good from the edge of the field and once you get right in there are two different things.

Take the time to volunteer

As I write my “Moos” on Monday morning, I am awaiting for the Grade 2/3 classes to arrive from J.W. Walker School in Fort Frances.

Maddie and Marlee were able to take the day off to help Auntie Kimmie (and more likely to be sure no one will chase the sheep or harm “their” animals in any way).

We had a tough time trying to decide how we could make it work, with the girls being out in the country since I needed to get back to work ASAP.

We still are behind at the agricultural research station in Emo—and we are preparing for my new boss to arrive and tour next week.

About three weeks behind on season

After taking the time to update my weather data, I can confirm that we definitely are about three weeks behind with our season.

We normally would start accumulating corn heat units near the beginning of May but this year we didn’t start until May 27.

Let’s hope we can make up for our cool spring yet this fall.

We have been able to plant all our research plots here at the Emo Agricultural Research Station but we still have land to cover.

It has been sticky in the plots at the back of the station and we have yet to finish those areas.

Weather just isn’t co-operating

It’s June—and we still are struggling to plant and get our “spring” jobs completed.

I’m feeling overwhelmed right now as the list keeps growing, the calendar keeps turning, and the weather continues to not co-operate.

We purchased a new brush mower last year for grass cutting here at the Emo Agricultural Research Station, but unfortunately our old Massey tractor is unable to run it, which means we are down to one tractor for most of the jobs.

This also is becoming a problem this year.

Memories of my Grandpa

Sadly, our family lost our Grandpa Bliss on Friday night. Thankfully, he slipped away quite quickly.

Grandpa and his quick talk will be greatly missed. You had to be on your toes and be prepared for him to tell you pretty much anything.

If you didn’t know him well, you may have had your feelings hurt but he certainly didn’t mean any harm. He was a black-and-white man–and held nothing back.

Mine Centre was his home and he wasn’t real excited when he moved into Fort Frances.

Sure no fun to be outdoors

I can’t believe how many people I spoke with who said we should expect this type of weather for our long weekend and opening of fishing season!

I had big fencing plans for the weekend, but it certainly hasn’t been the most enjoyable time to be outside.

The good part is I don’t need to worry about seeing a snake!

We really did need the rain, but we don’t need the strong winds and rain for multiple days on end.

Latest start for cereal seeding

I started working at the agricultural research station in Emo as a student back in 1987—a crazy long time ago!

But since I started, I’ve never been this late at seeding the cereal performance trials. And it is starting to get to me.

I realize we have no control of the weather but of all years for this to happen! We are expecting some officials from the University of Guelph this year and we need the place to be in tip-top shape!

Late spring presents challenges

Bring on the sunshine–my students started here at the Emo Agricultural Research Station on Monday!

I have two new students this year: Nick Donaldson, attending the University of Guelph, and Lucas Hudson from the University of Western Ontario.

It always is a bit challenging to start up with two new students (I’ve been doing this job for so long that I forget to explain things fully).

Fortunately, things slowly fall into place once we start doing field work and the kids learn that it’s completely normal for me sing out loud!

District loses another volunteer

Sadly, our district lost another good man over the weekend.

Aarne Hahkala was actively involved in the community for many years and always willing to tackle any task–big or small.

He was a great board member for the Rainy River Cattlemen’s Associawtion and a strong supporter of the Stratton sales barn. He volunteered many hours at the barn through our recent upgrades and attended many work bees.

A few years back, on some of our bus trips to Agribition and other such events, we all shared many laughs and a few beverages.

Double digits in long-term forecast

Some double-digit temperatures finally are appearing when I checked the long-term weather forecast.

It won’t happen soon enough for most of us!

Despite the cold temperatures and the extra work to keep water lines thawed out, the Rainy River Cattlemen’s Association’s spring cattle sale on Saturday in Stratton was quite successful.

Unfortunately, the cattle market has dropped about 10 cents/pound over the last week. We always like the producers to be happy with the sales, but we have no control over the market, either.