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Kim Jo Bliss - Moo's From The Herd

Late start to spring real downer

Wow, we are now past the middle of May and I still haven’t made a pass on the land (and yes, it is driving me crazy!)

I stopped in at the Emo Agricultural Research Station over the weekend and we were getting close–only to have it rain again, which will keep us off the land for another couple of days.

I am so disappointed with our late spring—it usually means we end up rushing around and that is when mistakes happen. As long as I have worked here at EARS (since 1988), I’ve never been this late!

Planting delayed by weather

Well, the weather continues to disappoint me and likely many others. We need to get on the land and get something planted!

It’s been said that every day after May 15, you start to lose a bushel a day on your cereal grains (although there are things, like our soybeans and corn, that I would likely hold off planting until after that date in hopes of missing some late frosts).

I don’t think we will worry about holding off–but now it comes down to hurrying up!

Getting busy at research station

The first week of May normally is a very busy one at the research station in Emo.

Students start, the weather is great, and we are off planting!

The weather isn’t so great this year but Nick, my returning student, and I will be busy weighing seeds and setting up our trials.

I’ve heard there has been some land activity in the west but now it looks as though it is going to be a wet week here.

And as I opened my blinds Monday morning and saw snowflakes, I knew we wouldn’t have any land activity despite the beautiful day Sunday.

Still waiting for good weather

I’m still patiently waiting for warm, dry weather—and I’m sure we all have similar interests in this.

It sounds like once again we were on the edge of the rain and snowfall last week, but what did fall here certainly was enough to make the sales barn in Stratton a wet, sloppy mess.

At least Saturday turned out to be a dry day, which made the conditions a bit more bearable.

We sold 869 cattle, with a total value of $1,080,673.58. That works out to an average of $1,250 across the board–and we haven’t seen prices like that.

New lambs proving popular

We certainly ended up with a pretty decent Easter weekend compared to our neighbours to the north and east.

We did see some snow, sleet, and rain early on Saturday, but we missed most of that and the sun was shining later that day!

I vaccinated my cows, calves, and yearlings on Friday and it was a beautiful day! The cattle yard is still in pretty good shape, so we didn’t need to put on the tallest of our footwear yet!

Actually, the squeeze was still a bit frozen so I wasn’t able to squeeze animals as tight as I would have liked, but things went very well.

More problems with calves

We certainly still have more snow cover than last year at this time but I’m almost able to get my big ol’ research truck out of the shop!

The snow was piled high and so icy that it made it nearly impossible to shovel.

I think we’re a few days away from doing much field work, especially when you look at the overnight lows for the next few days.

Spring is not my favourite time of the year (messy in the barn yard and things looks so dirty). But seeing the fields certainly is a welcome sight!

Calf loss upsetting

Well, the weather seems to be coming around and the sun shining down sure does make people feel a lot better.

We are limited on what we can do with the depth of snow and huge snow banks, but sunny days will change this quickly, as well.

Unfortunately, the sun brought me some bad luck. One of my youngest calves was stretching out lying in the sun when was laid on by a cow and died. I was so upset.

Debentures being sold to boost abattoir

We had a pretty good turnout at our abattoir general meeting last week.

Still, it does make me wonder about some of the producers that didn’t bother to come. Do they not care? Not see the value? Would they not like input? What will they say if we close?

We are selling $500 debentures now (debentures are loans that both the Kitchen Creek Golf Course and the Fort Frances Curling Club used in the past when they went through some challenging times).

I was quite pleased with the uptake following our meeting.

Will crazy winter ever end?

I’m starting to wonder if I will ever stop writing about this crazy long winter!

We had more than a foot of snow here Friday and then it was minus-33 C when I left the house Sunday morning.

Wow—and it’s the end of March!

Of course, I was lucky to have frozen water everywhere—in the house, barn, and all water bowls! The heat in the well house quit so that ended the running water.

Still battling scours problem

Well, as I was cruising along nearing the end of calving and my getting up through the night, the “s” word hit the fan!

That being scours, which is the same as diarrhea and can be very deadly in young calves.

I needed to be away from home for two-straight days last week so I booked my mom as my farm checker. I predicted that my next two heifers likely would calve while I was away (which would stress my mom out) or through the night (so that I would get little sleep.)