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Kim Jo Bliss - Moo's From The Herd

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.

Vaccinations went well despite conditions

Each spring, as vaccination time approaches, I tend to worry that the handling facilities won’t be thawed out or be still full of snow.

But for the first-time ever, it happened!

I’m about three weeks away from breeding, so the cows needed to be vaccinated. Unfortunately, the corral still has about three feet of snow in it.

Due to the fact that the ice was dangerous, and the head gate wouldn’t fully open, we ran all the cows through the maternity pen to vaccinate. The calves, meanwhile, we did in big groups and we made the yearlings go through the chute.

Even the cows want spring

I think even my cows are growing tired of our lack of spring!

For those of us who didn’t have a huge stack of hay this year, the long, lingering winter certainly is not helping that, either.

Alas, the long-term weather forecast still isn’t looking very warm and we are in need of some warm days to attack the big snow piles.

I still have yet to see a glimpse of my plowing here at the Emo Agricultural Research Station!

Back to the cold

I was thinking that the cold weather Monday morning was quite an April Fool’s Day trick!

The sun was shining, but it was pretty darn stiff in the barn yard.

It’s amazing that last year at this time, we were thinking about planting. This year, however, I can’t even see me plowing anytime soon.

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I’m officially back at the Emo Agricultural Research Station, which means my full-time farming days are over once again.