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Kim Jo Bliss - Moo's From The Herd

Sad to send three lambs to abattoir

My flock size was reduced this week as I dropped off three lambs at the abattoir.

I felt quite sad, but they had reached market weight and Rainy River Meats was in need of lamb (they have a difficult time keeping lamb on their shelf).

A friend of mine lost his lambs to wolves, so I’m happy I was able to market them, at least.

We still have “Charolette” and “Ruby” left so hopefully Maddie and Marlee are not too disappointed.

Research station work winding up

Well, the summer weather certainly is continuing here.

My final week with a student at the Emo Agricultural Research Station (EARS) was busy but we managed to complete our grain harvest and get all our samples in.

We also tried to finish our forage work—only to find our Swift Current Forage Harvester still was not working properly. It sounds like it is a major breakdown and we will have to look at what our options are.

We were close to being finished, but not quite. I just need it to be fixed for later this fall when we tackle our bio-mass trials.

Weather perfect for Emo Fair

Well, another Emo Fair has come and gone! And what a beautiful weekend it was.

We did have a few brief showers Saturday afternoon, but it just helped to keep the dust down. Meanwhile, temperatures were near perfect, which seems to make the cattle perform much better.

This year we had many of our young kids in the ring learning the ropes of showing cattle. I know people have mixed feelings about whether we should allow these young kids in the ring but they all did well and I don’t know if you are ever too young to start developing those cattle skills.

Emo Fair week is here

Well, here we are—Emo Fair week!

The sad part of that is the fact that fall soon follows.

August for me really passes by quickly. I spend most of the time stressing that I don’t have stuff ready for the fair!

My BFF tells me I need to priorize and consider cutting back! I told her it wouldn’t be a problem if I didn’t have to work and do my regular home chores.

And my regular housework is hurting right now. My house is messy and dirty, and looks like it does every Emo Fair.

Lower grain yields predicted

Wow, this month is already a week old! Time seems to fly by once the fall season starts.

Our plot forage harvester broke down about two hours from being finished all our second cut and haylage/silage trials.

We are hoping that we will have it back this week and finish up! We just went right into combining barley—and of course we did end up with a small breakdown but thankfully the Nussbaumers rescued us and got us back in action very quickly!

If the weather cooperates, I would think we will have a majority of our grain combined this week.

Recent rains a bonus

Hopefully everyone has received some of the rain that fell across the district over the past week.

I know the amounts tend to vary. Last Thursday, for instance, we received six mm here at the Emo Agricultural Research Station while my home got 48 mm. And on Monday, EARS had received 18 mm and home 33 mm.

But neither amount certainly won’t hurt anything–and it will be a bonus for our pastures and second-cut hay fields.

Much drier elsewhere in Ontario

Last week I was in Owen Sound for the Ontario Cattlemen’s summer meeting and we actually met with the board and staff from the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, as well.

We are dry here in Rainy River, but things were even worse there. For the most part, the entire province is very dry.

Our pastures look incredible compared to what I had seen while travelling. Many have weaned calves and sold cows while others already are feeding hay–in hopes of finding more hay (but it is in very short supply and the dairy operations quickly are buying up any spare feed).

Lots of crops ready to harvest

It certainly looks like we will have some combining to do in the month of July as the barley is ripening quickly.

We will hold off harvesting anything, though, until after our open house next Thursday evening (July 26).

It looks as though the second cut of the alfalfa will be ready after that, as well.

I have been monitoring the soybeans to watch for insects since they are having some troubles in other parts of our province, but at this point they seem to be quite clean.

No complaints about hot weather

Our summer weather continues—and it sure feels good. I certainly have no complaints about these hot temperatures.

I frequently get asked, “Do you tan?” No, I don’t, but I ride a tractor daily.

As such, I have a horrible farmer’s tan (the back side of me is white since the sun doesn’t reach the back side of your legs on a tractor!)

And yes, I do wear sunscreen. But by the end of a long, sweaty day, I’m not sure how effective it is. And re-applying isn’t that enjoyable with layers of dust and grit.

Hay yields lower

The drier spring is sure showing negative results in the hay fields across the district.

People are reporting a third- to a half-less hay. Many are trying to secure hay from other sources in order to keep their cow herds stable.

Funny how things change so quickly here; the last few years have resulted in higher yields of hay and this year not so.

I think many of us are hoping to get the first cut hay cleaned off and then hope for some second cut but unless we get some rain that won’t happen either.