Making Hay
Week of September 1st, 2002 | The weather was warm.

Cattle strip grazing a pasture.

Cattle strip grazing a pasture.

Hello! How are all of you? I have been great, enjoying the last days of August and having fun at school. It's also fun around the farm watching the cattle grazing outdoors and the pigs running around in the grass out in the pastures. Sometimes, just sitting back and taking in all the little simple things in life can be a great pleasure. We take a lot of things for granted and forget about those simple little things that can be real enjoyment. Just wait until the leaves come down from the trees in colors of orange, yellow, and red in the fall time! It's always so neat to watch all the colors forming in the autumn season. It's my favorite time of the year.

While Dad and I were working on Saturday, I watched a sow run in a pasture. Half of her body was covered in mud to cool her off from the heat. While she was running, her big ears were flopping up and down. She looked like a little elephant with ears flopping. It was cute!

While I was at school on Monday, Dad took 2 hogs to a small meat processing plant in the area. The pork from these hogs is for some area customers.

Tuesday and Wednesday, Dad fixed an auger on a grain bin. This auger removes grain from the bin, and usually it goes in the feed mill to be ground for hog feed. Dad made an improvement on it as well as replacing some bad parts. The improvement allows us to grind two kinds of grain without having to move the mixer mill. Also on Wednesday, Dad went to St. Ansgar to purchase some premix. Premix is a special hog ingredient.

Thursday, Dad made 2 pens in a pasture for groups of sows. To do this, Dad has to put up a fence to keep the pigs in, set up a water fountain so the pigs can drink water, make sure there is plenty of shade, and a wagon full of feed nearby for chores. Finally, Dad moved 32 sows in the pasture pens.

Friday, Dad started a new project. The ditch along the road east of the hoop buildings are always full of tall weeds and it doesn't look nice. Dad used the 4-wheel drive John Deere tractor and the loader to clean the weeds up. Then he placed some drainage pipes in the ditch for the water to run through and began to fill the ditch with earth.

Saturday, Dad plowed some ground by a fence line. This area will be entered into the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) this fall. Then, using the loader and two dumping wagons, we moved this dirt to the ditch that Dad worked on Friday. Since Dad was loading the dirt, I hauled it. After dumping piles of dirt near the ditch, Dad came in with the loader and pushed the dirt in. I can't dump the dirt in the ditch with a wagon. After all of the drainage pipes were covered with dirt, Saturday's long, busy day was over. We will be moving more dirt and leveling the top of the ditch next week.

Farm Fact: We give the cowherd fresh grass everyday. A small portion of the pasture is fenced off and the herd is given an amount of grass they can eat in a day. This is called strip grazing. This keeps the cows from being over fed and keeps the pasture from being wasted. Here's an example: if you have 5 people going through a line of many tables of food, they know that they cannot eat it all. If all 5 went through one table full of food, then they can eat it all and not waste food. When the cowherd moves to a different pasture, this grazed pasture can rest and re-grow for the next season.

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