Making Hay
Week of September 26th, 2004 | The weather was sunny, dry, idyllic.

North end of new gestation hoop building.

North end of new gestation hoop building.

Happy autumn to everyone! My favorite time of the year! How's it going? I've been busy with school activities. In my free time, I help Dad with chores and our hoop building construction project.

On our hoop building, we completed the ends. On the south end, we built a wall. This end does not need a gate. We also put up the end tarps and the tarp door. On the south end (interior) we put in two water fountains. These are cemented into the water pad.

The north end had more labor into it. We not only put in the tarp door, but also a seven-foot tall man sized door. With this small door, we had to put in an extra frame and cut the end tarp around it. We also had to build a wall and pour a pad of concrete. The man-sized door will be very handy for chores each morning, and will be used for loading out sows or moving sows in. Under the large tarp door, we put in a 12- foot gate. The gate area will be used for cleaning out the hoop building and for bedding it up.

When we were pouring the last of our concrete, we also poured the bulk bin pads, or the concrete footings for the bulk bin. This bulk bin will hold feed for the sows. The auger will run through the wall and inside of the hoop building. To do chores, we will have a feed cart inside of the building. We will run the auger and fill the feed cart up with feed. (This cart is on wheels, so we don't have to lift a lot) With a feed scoop, we will give each sow a certain amount of feed individually in their gestation feeding crates. After the sows eat for about 45 minutes, we will let them out of their crates and into the deep-bedded pen.

I can't wait until this hoop building will be complete. It will be a lot of fun to do chores. It will definitely be different than the way we fed gestation sows in the past. Our goal is to have the building completed by November 1st. My high school had two home varsity football games this past month. The New Hampton Marching Band (I play the trombone) played for the half time show at both games. I am really enjoying marching band! We have two more home football games to play for. Our next one will be this coming Friday night for Homecoming. Lots of activities are planned for the week, including Thursday parade and pep rally. It should be fun!

This past Saturday, my family helped move my sister, Jess. She bought a really nice house. She's still living in the same town, but now she won't have to rent anymore. She has a big backyard with a rock garden. It's awesome. It was a really long day! That night I had a few friends over for a bonfire party. I was tired Sunday!

As October approaches, the temperatures are falling a little and we have less daylight each day. August temperatures were record setting cold and the crops did not make normal maturing progress. The September weather was a complete switch and the warm and dry days aided crop development. Even our soybeans planted on June 15th are now turning color and will mature before a killing frost. Farm operations are going to become busy with the harvest coming up. Read again next month to see how our harvest is going!

Farm Fact: With less daylight in the winter season, we cannot accomplish as many activities on the farm as in the summer season. Each day now, we lose three minutes of daylight. We like to do chores before dark so we can prevent or see if there are any problems.

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