The concert was AWESOME! I can't wait to post some videos of Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan, but no time tonight. Oh Spring is in the air at the farm! I know spring is right around the corner for many different reasons....
New Ulm Farm Show: This weekend is the Farm Show. Farmers and businessmen alike were wandering around the show floor today with a "spring" in their step: planning purchases for seed for the coming crop season, planning new building projects as soon as the mud disappears, and planning "warm" weather projects. Everyone had smiles on their faces even though the fog and mist smothered out the sunshine.
Disppearing Snow Drifts: 2 weeks ago we had over 18 inches of snow at the farm, now, thanks to some major temperature changes we have only 6 inches left and a lot of mud! It's a nessesary evil when it comes to season changes in Minnesota. Snow melts...mud comes. Heifers LOVE the mud! Silly heifers always run in the mud-making themselves dirty and disgusting. If PETA drove by they would probably want to film those darn heifers, covered in mud, and put it on ABC news, but even though they are muddy-it's only temporary. Once the sun comes out and the mud dries up, those heifers go back to being clean and beautiful, almost picture perfect. Heifers and cows are independent animals and even if they were in the "wild" they would be muddy and dirty this time of year. Ironically it's their choice to be muddy. They're healthy even if they are temporarily dirty.
Thunderstorms: Yes, we had our first thunderstorm of the year on Thursday morning. It was amazing to see lightning and hear thunder again! The rain (almost 1 inch) was warm and wonderful...but also made the mud that was the result of the melting snow even more "muddy". We moved a new fresh cow during this thunderstorm, I was soaking wet, but I enjoyed feeling rain instead of snow.
Flooding: Yes, we have flooding now. Rapidly melting snow with added rain makes for a LARGE volume of water that needs to go somewhere. The frost layer (layer in the soil where the ground is frozen) prevents the water from soaking in...so there is run off. The water runs off into the streams, ponds, slouges, and into the fields. Our fields are all home to small lakes. Thanks to the work that we do with our local NRCS (National Resources Conservation Service) we have built filter strips (sections of grass that we planted to filter run off water) and drainage ditches (grass filled ditches that store and filter water, in addition to move it away from the farm and feedlots). We have taken steps to make sure that we protect our natural resources (land, water, air). We need to have these resources for our generation and the generations to come.
Frost Layer is Coming Out: That darn frost layer, which had been there all winter is now thawing. This means that we can no longer take tractors out into the field. Tractors can cause compaction, which is bad for the soil. Compaction is terrible for crops-they can't develop good root systems. Tractors also get stuck. Mud without frost underneath means those darn tractors will sink right through-making for an even bigger mess. So what do we do with our manure?...we stack it. We have a section of land where we pile manure until the fields are safe to be in again (hopefully soon). We are hoping to build a larger storage area for manure, which means we can haul manure less often during the year and not have to stack it. Hopefully milk prices increase soon so we can make this wish a reality.
Robins and Green Grass: Yep, we sure did see our first robin this week! I was so excited to see that red chested bird! The grass is also greening up under the snow, which makes me hopeful that the long range forecast is correct and warmer weather is on the way!
Wishing you a Happy Spring!!!