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Kim Jo Bliss - Moo's From The Herd

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.

  • • •

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

Keeping my fingers crossed

Well, my prediction that the end of calving sometimes is a bit of challenge has proved true.

A great big ole’ cow that is quiet like a dog and has been acting strange, truthfully, for the last couple of years, calved early Sunday morning.

She has been lying out in the deep snow since I brought the cows in the yard and did the same thing last year. She calved, but acted like nothing had happened.

Once we got her in the barn she seemed to be very out of it.

She has always been quite a quiet, gentle mother but this was strange.

Food day victim of snow again

More snow—I think we all have the same feelings about this!

As well, our Food Security Action Day had to be postponed for a second time because of snow.

It now is re-scheduled for Wednesday, April 10 and we only can hope for a more spring-like day.

On the bright side, I’m hoping this latest snowstorm will trigger something and the last of my cows will decide to calve. I am tiring of checking them and it seems we get non-complacent as the end nears.