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Kim Jo Bliss - Moo's From The Herd

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.

Time to hay

It looks like the weather is shaping up to be a great week!

I am hoping to tackle some of my haying. I am nervous about some of our fields—there doesn’t appear to be a lot of hay.

I tend to worry about that sort of thing but I am trying to remember that there isn’t much you can do about it!

You can always hope that we will have the right growing conditions and we might get a decent second cut.

We should be able to finish haying at EARS this week.

June always a busy month for meetings

June has been a very busy month with meetings most every night (it seems we try to cram all our meetings in this month before we get busy with haying!)

I was planning to attend the RRFDC annual meeting in Emo, but it just so happened we had no power that night and I wasn’t able to shower. There are certain meetings where it isn’t appropriate to go smelling like a cow!

I was happy to hear Deb Cornell and Jim Belluz joined the RRFDC board.

Abattoir in need of more business

The Rainy River Regional Abattoir is hosting its annual meeting next Wednesday (June 20) at 7 p.m. at the abattoir.

Please take the time to attend as the abattoir is in need of more business! It is a brand new, very expensive building and it we don’t use it, we very easily could lose it.

I’ve heard many times that the cost to butcher is too expensive. But there are a few things you should think about.

Weather extremes all to common

As it seems to happen here in Rainy River District, we have weather extremes: extremely cold, extremely hot, extremely dry, and extremely damp.

We all will agree that we needed the rain, but now it’s time for this pattern to move off–preferably to the Timmins area, where they have been battling one of Canada’s largest forest fires.

I also understand Thunder Bay was hit extremely hard with rain and that many people are flooded out!

There just doesn’t seem to be a happy medium.

Most of our plots now planted

It was a great planting week at the Emo Agricultural Research Station and we managed to get a majority of our plots filled up!

We still have some grass/legume blocks to plant, but the last of that seed should be arriving early this week.

We welcomed the rain even though it didn’t amount to a whole lot.

We also are having some geese problem in our plots, but I hope we can chase them away and get them to stay away. They can do a lot of damage to a small plot.