Tag Archives: rain

Permanent Ley Scheme

Horribly dry here and no chance of rain in the forecast!  However, it’s perfect for disk ploughing and rotatilling sod pastures so that they have ample opportunity for the grass that is turned up to die.  On the four paddocks i’ve selected this is mostly toxic endophyte infected fescue and other weeds.  Except for the 18 acres that i had tilled this spring and were involved in the annuals scheme, the remaining 32 acres is established pasture – pasture that has been grazed for at least 55 years.  Tilling it up created quite a clatter on my rotatiller.  Rocks, rocks, and more rocks.  There basically is no topsoil on my pastures except in the low spots along ditches.  Sad – very sad.

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Rainfall on 21 August 2017 – very nice and quickly absorbed by thirsty soil, but hot, dry, and often windy even until now 17 September 2017.

 

 

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Settings we used for a mixed sized seed batch on our John Deere 1590
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Settings
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Settings
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Settings
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Settings
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John Deere 7220 and John Deere 1590 planting permanent pasture mix.  I hope to never have to work the ground this much.  I’m no farmer!
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Seed ordered and mixed by Welter Seed & Honey.
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Note the difference sized seeds which makes how to set the no-till drill tricky.  At least for us; we are just learning.
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Dallas loading the no-till drill while Allen and Andy discuss what settings to use.

 

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Using the 7220 John Deere tractor which has front wheel assist to pull the JD 1590 no till drill.
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Here is the mix i ordered from Welter Seed & Honey, Onslow, IA.  Really appreciate their personal and quick discussion and advice.  Mixed and shipped very quickly.

 

So how in the world did i come up with this mix?  After reading Robert Elliot’s book The Clifton Park System of Farming and Laying Down Land to Grass, i’ve been interested in his trials and observations.  I used a permanent mix found from Cotswold Seeds and interestingly it is even labeled Clifton Park mix!  How weird is that?!  The link here describes it in depth;

‘LAMINS’ Drought Resistant Four Year Grazing Ley Dry, Light Land

Pulled into the first sod bound pasture land (Paddock 15) with the John Deere 4250 and the Howard Rotavator on 29 August 2017.  Granted, i know most recommendations are to have this seeding done and in no later than the 20th of August, but this year just wasn’t going to allow it.  And thankfully, i didn’t get in earlier; had i put these seeds in slightly moist soil, they may have germinated, sprouted, then dried up in this heat and dry weather.  As it is, the seeds are just resting in that super dry soil waiting for just the right conditions to grow and thrive.  The concern at planting late is that there won’t be good growth before freezing weather and a long winter.

 

(On the 1st of September, i mustered my bulls and hauled them (Allen and Dallas helped a lot), i spent too much time outside and became overcome with ragweed allergies.  This kept me sleeping and recovering in the house for two days.  Andy was able to take over for me so we kept on schedule.)

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16 September – RAIN!  Slow and gentle, but with damaging winds.  Total amount received two inches – perfect!  Yah is gracious.

 

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So to wrap it up with costs:

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Figures from 2016 Custom Rates for Farm Services in Missouri

That’s a lot of money!  and doesn’t even include the $60/acre spent earlier this year in lime spread.  Hope it all pays off – i don’t want to ever have to do it again and with managed grazing, it should last many lifetimes.

Shalom!

tauna

 

30 Day Checkup

Time for an update on the annuals.  It’s now been 33 days since planting on the 26th of May and it’s been terribly dry until just now.

The soil had some moisture in it when i tilled the 18 acres the first go on 18-19 May, but then we received a rain (4/10s) which delayed the second tillage until 25 May, at which time my husband seeded the hills right behind the second tillage so we could wrap up this project for the first stage.

Then weather set in hot, dry, sunny, and windy.  Some of the seeds germinated and some even sprouted and grew.  If we didn’t get a rain soon, those brave spindly plants would soon wither and die.

At last, over the course of 14-15-16 June, we received 1.5 inches of rain and temps cooled just a little bit – a breather for plants, soil, animals, and man.

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What a difference a 1.5 rain made – this was taken four days after the rain, but the soil is good here.
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This photo is taken immediately to the east of the previous photo and at the same moment.  Growth exhibited on 20 June, four days after that 1.5 inch rain.  What a difference soil quality makes!

Rainfall has been scarce until 28-29-June, when a gully washer of 7 inches fell in a bit over 24 hours.  Thankfully, not much soil moved because i was careful to leave grass strips and there was still some dead plant material.  Ideally, there would have been new root growth to help, but the previous dry weather compounded by my poor soil restricted growth tremendously.

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Taken day after the two days of 7 inches of rain.

 

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Thilled to see so many lespedeza seedlings.
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Mystery – why is one sunflower so green and healthy and this one right next to it yellow and sickly?  Why did i photograph my shoe?!
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A very little soil movement can be seen in this photo although it is on a slight slope.  Can you believe that this is 33 days growth?  My clay hills are pretty dead which is the reason for trying to bring them alive by building organic matter and eliminating toxic endophyte fescue.
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This shows some definite soil movement after a 7 inch rain, but it didn’t move very far.  Encouraging!

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So, bring on the next 30 day!  With that 7 inch rain and little of it running off, there should be a massive increase in forage growth.  Excited!

Cheers and Shabbat Shalom!

tauna

Sun, Sand Storm, Rain, Flood

So, is Dubai just like Missouri?!  We joke in Missouri that if you don’t like the weather, just hang around a few hours and it will change – and it’s true quite a lot.  One morning you’ll be running the furnace because the temps are in the teens (fahrenheit) and by afternoon, the air conditioner is coming on because it’s in the 80s!.

In Dubai this week two days ago was sunny, hot, and 98 degrees, next day was sand storm and 96 all day, and early this morning, i woke to the gentle ping of rain on the window.  Not much accumulated, but the streets are flooded!

Dubai’s annual rainfall is 3.71 inches per year, with March being the second highest rainfall month of a whopping .87 of an inch (March has the most days of rain at 5)  However, the past couple years, the annual has risen to nearly 5.91 inches a year.  Apparently, UAE is seeding the clouds to hopefully increase the rainfall.  Whether or not that is working or if this is just a natural increase we’ll never be know, though i suspect the cloud seeding enthusiasts will be claiming success!

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Bright sunshine, warm temperatures, water a bit nippy, but several in swimming!
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Of course today of the Sightseeing tour, it is a sand storm!  Eating sand and gritty eyes, but –bonus–no crowds!  A bit eery –no one in the restaurant we chose, all those vendors you see in the photo, but not a single shopper.  There were a few people enjoying the beach and water, however. This is at the famous Dubai Marina Walk.

 

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Only a few tenths causes flooding in Dubai!

 

 

Still not winter!

Thankfully, we are still enjoying balmy weather with even right now at 11pm, it’s 63F!  That’s at least 20 degrees above normal.  And that is to continue the next couple of days, but then drop to normal.  However, we are under a flood warning as considerable thunderstorms with lots of rain are expected.  Gonna get muddy….

Cheers!

tauna

Interesting!  check this out.  We are the same temp in Laclede, MO as in Dubai UAE.  Bet that doesn’t happen very often – especially in December.

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Trying to rain…..

One of the negative aspects (and i’m NOT complaining) is that with this unexpected warm weather, vacuuming or sweeping dead face flies and Japanese beetles off the floor around windows and sills etc is a daily event.

Each morning and evening, I have 5 orphaned peewee calves to feed along with two orphaned bottle calves.  A nuisance to be sure.  Once they are started good and I have time, I’ll take them to the auction before winter.  Someone else will like the chores more than we do.

Last night, after dark, Dallas, Allen, and I mustered 12 calves from the TT place across the road to their mums who Allen had moved earlier in the day.  He should have checked them before dark!  We were able to move all but one blind calf.  She’ll be up waiting today.

These two dead trees were too close to the electric powerlines.
These two dead trees were too close to the electric powerlines.

The electric company guys came yesterday whilst I was gone and cut down these two dead trees from near the power lines.  I had only called them about a week ago and here they are so quickly.  I was glad they were willing to do this dangerous job for us.

Thanks guys at Farmer’s Electric Coop, Chillicothe, MO!

I like this birdhouse the best because i messed it up - it's just slightly askew, so we'll keep it for ourselves.
I like this birdhouse the best because i messed it up – it’s just slightly askew, so we’ll keep it for ourselves.

Need to get back to these birdhouses I cut out from an old barn gate using a pattern for bluebird house from the Missouri Department of Conservation.  Boy, repurposing lumber is a challenging undertaking, but it is rewarding to keep this lumber from just burning.  Still need to screw on the tops and cut out the hole.  I’ll leave the decorating to Dallas – he’s more creative than I am.  We have a lot of small antique farm junk to use.   Not sure what we’ll do with so many birdhouses – maybe Dallas and I can hone our skills enough to make something worth selling.   I lined these up today – does that count for doing something?!  😉

Birdhouses that are made from an old barn gate. I have discovered that using repurposed lumber is a time consuming endeavour!
Birdhouses that are made from an old barn gate. I have discovered that using repurposed lumber is a time consuming endeavour!

Rolled up about 875 feet of polywire and picked up the posts, giving my ET cows and some late calving heifers of Allen’s another break of fresh grass.

Managed to squeeze in a bit of time to take this ancient bird feeder apart and take out the plexiglass that was there which i used to take to the seed plant to cut another one.  As you see one side is missing. Using the table saw, I quickly sliced a piece to put in on the other side.
Managed to squeeze in a bit of time to take this ancient bird feeder apart and take out the plexiglass that was there which i used to take to the seed plant to cut another one.  As you see one side is missing. Using the table saw, I quickly sliced a piece to put in on the other side.
Carefully disassembling.
Carefully disassembling.
All put back together with it's new plexiglass.
All put back together with it’s new plexiglass.

Lunch was such a hit yesterday with beef fillets and broccoli, that I made the same today.  Which was quick and easy since I had sliced the whole loin yesterday morning when it was still somewhat frozen.  Being partially frozen, meat is much easier to slice.  These fillets I sliced about 1 1/2 inches thick.  Pan broiled in butter from grass fed cows is our favourite way of preparing beef fillets and lamb noisettes.

Since it may rain tomorrow and i need to go to Chillicothe, I headed to my farm to shift the cows.  That sure made them happy.  I opened another paddock as well since I can’t get back up there until Tuesday.  Took out mineral and drove the perimeter to make sure the fence was all cattle tight.  Finished my fencing project at my farm this afternoon  with driving another 10 or so fiberglass posts and attaching the two hi-tensile wires with cotter pins.  I’ll be feeling that tonight – I can see some Tylenol in  my future – the ground is really hard right now.  Tightened it all up – done.

The guys are nearly done with building my perimeter fence.  They finished today’s plans in the rain.  It was not a full day of working since Allen took his dad to the doctor this afternoon.  If the weather holds, probably tomorrow will see it done.

Upon my return home, i found the peewee calves in the yard waiting for me!  Guess i accidentally left a gate open.  So glad the bulls hadn’t wandered up to the barn and out as well!  Got some feed and they followed me back to the barn easily.  One of the bottle calves is not feeling well  – i noticed her not being up to par this morning and she is worse this evening, so i pushed her into a corner and shot her with Red mix and a vitamin B complex.  Hopefully, that will knock whatever rattles out of her.  She has a good appetite, though, so that is a good sign.  She and the other calf sucked down their bottles in good fashion.

Enough chatter for today!!

Cheers

tauna

Nearly dark, Allen and Dallas pulled in.  Dallas collected eggs and we all sauntered back to the house, enjoying the lovely evening.

Now, a long evening before bedtime – maybe i can talk these two into playing a few games of UNO.  We are all tired, but it just gets dark so early.

Continuing Rain!

Here in north-central Missouri we’ve continued to stay rainy and muddy since winter.  However, we cannot complain compared to the horrific flooding, damaging thunderstorms, tornadoes, tropical storms, and continuing droughts and wildfires other parts of the country and world are receiving.  It’s been hard on equipment, livestock, and people, but maybe someday it’ll change and become ‘normal.’  We wear mud boots everyday all day despite 107ºF heat indices on some days and terrific humidity even when it’s in the 80s and pretty sure i’m starting to get foot rot!  Gonna switch to 100% wool socks pretty quick if we don’t get relief soon.  Any socks with nylon or such in them cause my feet to sweat and peel – kind of gross for sure.

We keep a good supply of coconut water in the cupboard and frig for rehydrating when water just won’t quite supply enough minerals.  Bananas and buffered salt are on hand as well to help with muscle cramping at night.

We’ve weaned the fall calves, doctored a good number for bad eyes (pinkeye) already, and sorted off two loads of calves to sell at North Missouri Livestock Auction the 6th of July.  The mud and rain has prevented us from establishing summer annual pastures that we had planned to graze and grow out some of yearlings this year.  Since we didn’t get that done, we are running out of grass, so the calves need to go where ever grass is available.

Tough on calving, but the cows and calves are really doing quite well despite the heat and rain.  A couple of calves lost due to navel ill because of them lying in a muddy spot and allowing infection to develop.  There is little help for a calf once it gets navel ill.  We always lose some baby calves and this year really hasn’t been any worse in that regard.  However, what I call ‘jungle rot‘ is on the increase.  It is likely more calves will not survive if we don’t get some dry weather soon.

The ewes are pretty much done lambing and in the timber now which not only helps keep them cool and not sunburnt, but, by their grazing choices, they are helping control the brush which needs taming!  Pretty hard on wool sheep all this rain and mud.  Constantly wet wool on a live animal can be conducive to parasites that can kill the sheep.  Usually not, but any animal with a compromised immune system is susceptible.

Shabbat Shalom!

tauna