Monday, September 10, 2012

Drought Damage Control

In a normal year (whatever that is) , we would be chopping corn for silage and baling hay like crazy,but drought, exceptional drought in our case, is demanding change and flexibility in all of our farming decisions for this time of the year. Even though we have received a little bit of rain that has greened up the pastures, at least one third of the grass in our pastures is dead. In times like these we are relying heavily on the information and advice from our Cooperative Extension Agent and the Natural Resource and Conservation Service technicians to help us make the best decisions for farming practices under these drought  conditions.

Maintainence of grazing pastures is important to the nutrition of our dairy cows and calves and the sustainability of our farm. For fall and winter pasture grass, several pastures have been reseeded with rye grass by using a no-till drill. With diesel fuel edging closer to five dollars a gallon, it is very sustainable and cost effective to no-till plant because it reduces soil erosion,retains soil moisture and conserves fuel needed to cultivate.

Drought is challenging every aspect of our farming operation but in looking for the silver lining to the drought cloud, I would say that for me it has grown my faith and given me an even deeper appreciation of the science and technology that we rely on every day to care for our animals and land and to produce high-quality milk for your family and mine!

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