Making Hay
Week of April 20th, 2003 | The weather was April showers.

Checking a sow's ID

Checking a sow's ID

April showers bring May flowers! We certainly have had our share of showers this past week. We had another busy week gone by! Since the weather conditions only gave us a couple of good days for fieldwork, we decided to do some planting on Sunday.

Sunday, Dad, Sammy, and I sold 28 market hogs. While we were sorting and loading hogs, I used my new digital camcorder to shoot the action. I am in the process of making a movie of sorting and selling hogs. Wait until you hear dad's voice when we are chasing the hogs! That afternoon, I participated in the New Hampton High School Spring Band Concert. We played five songs. There were solo and ensemble pieces performed, as well.

On Sunday afternoon, Dad started to plant this year's barley crop. The barley and the grass seed for the next years hay crop were planted with the grain drill. Monday, Dad continued to plant barley. After school that evening, I helped Dad by dragging the ground with the drag. Mom and I recorded on the camcorder the fieldwork that was done for planting the barley. This will be another short movie I will put together for viewing.

Dad finished planting barley on Tuesday. Then, he helped two of our neighbors with planting oats and grass seed. Tuesday evening, I used the John Deere 4020 tractor to drag the newly planted field. After planting with the grain drill, the drag was used to cover the grass seed because those seeds are not planted as deep as the barley seeds are. Right when I finished dragging, it started to sprinkle! We timed that good!

It rained half an inch on Wednesday. Dad had to drive the grain truck with some feed inside of it to Floyd Thursday night. I went along. This was my first time riding in the grain truck. It was fun! Dad told me how different it is to drive the truck as compared to the car. The truck has a 13 speed transmission. I'm not looking forward to learning how to drive the truck!

I did not have school on Friday due to Easter break. Dad and I moved 3 sows and their piglets to a pasture. These are the first pigs out in the pasture this year. We keep all pigs and sows near the yard or in the barn during winter because of the cold weather. Dad and I also cleaned the cattle yards since they were messy from the rain. Later that afternoon we brought home 6 sows from the neighbor who farrowed them for us. We used the new electronic ear tag reader to record the numbers of these sows and we then entered this information into the computer. We are building an information base on our sow herd this way.

Saturday, I attended a 4-H Meeting. After the meeting, our club held our annual 4-H Easter Egg Hunt. We had a good turnout considering that it was cold and cloudy, and kind of misty. Jess came home for Easter on Saturday. Also, we had some relatives that stopped by for a visit. During the afternoon, Jess and I used our Ford truck to pick up one of our grain pups from a welding shop near New Hampton. The welding shop took the two axles off and put a different single axle on. This axle has better tires and brakes and it is large enough to hold the same load as the tandem axles held. The grain pup looks really different now with only one axle!

Mom was really busy this past week at the grocery store where she works because of the Easter holiday. She worked a lot of hours. She was really tired by the end of the week.

Farm Fact: We keep the cowherd out in the pasture as long as possible. We only have the herd in the cattle yards when it is really muddy and the grass is not tall enough for grazing yet. It's usually this time of the year. If we had the herd at home all winter, we would have to haul a lot of manure. Cattle manure is much heavier than hog manure. Hauling cattle manure all of the time is an added expense.

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