Sunday, July 19, 2009

3rd Cutting of Hay Done!

Ah the joys of Minnesota weather! When we cut 1st cutting of alfalfa in May-it was 97 degrees and 50 mph winds. Our June, 2nd cutting took us 7 days between rain showers/thunderstorms and 80 degree humidity. This 3rd cutting of alfalfa that we finished last night was harvested in 60 degree weather-cool and day, much like October should be. It's been a roller coaster of weather this summer. We are currently 7 inches behind on our annual rain fall-which the crops are really starting to show. It's been cool and dry so the corn isn't "burning up" too quickly but if we don't get rain this week it will be the end of some of our corn-it's just been too dry for too long.

Nevertheless, we finished our 3rd cutting of alfalfa-all 130 acres which yielded only 85% of what it should have. It took us about 2 days to start and finish-thanks to the help of a good friend who came over to help drive tractor and lots of family. One of the joys of working on a farm is that family is usually able to help during big projects like this. Working with family is fun and trying all at the same time. Now we begin praying for rain-lots of it, with a little bit of God's help.

We got our milk check for June's milk today. As dairy farmers we are paid twice per month. Our creamery pays us every month of the 17th (for the month previous-June) and the 25th (advance check for July). Our take home price for milk was $10.68/one hundred pounds of milk. This milk price would equate to about 93 cents per gallon of milk. This price is not enough to pay all of our bills, but it does pay some. We also receive a monthly MILC (Milk Income Loss Contract) payment from the government. This check also doesn't help to meet our monthly bills, but it does help. We would prefer to not collect money from the government, but help is appreciated at a time like this. We try to capitalize on some premiums/bonuses from the creamery. We get paid extra money if we can increase our butterfat and protein levels. We also get increased premiums for high quality milk (lower somatic cell count or less infections/white blood cells). Therefore, we are doing are best to get any premiums we can---healthy cows are profitable cows!

Today was a good day for a nap-even if it was finally summer outside again. We went to church, out to eat, and home for sleep. It was awesome! It's been a couple of long nights working to get hay done.

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I write this blog to share my passion for my cows and farming, please be respectful of that. I reserve the right to delete those comments which portray hate, call names, and are out right disrespectful. If you have an honest question, I will respond, to explain what we do on our farm, why we do it and how we do it. Please read with an open mind. My time to blog is short, as most of our days are spent caring for our beloved cows. Thank you!