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May moisture welcome after very dry April

Eppich News: Seeding has started, but need moisture to make it grow

April was dry. There was almost no moisture the entire month.

In the middle of April the guys were madly dashing about working summerfallow and I got L J — the four-year-old colt I started last year — going again.

On April 19 there was a fire in a yard a few miles north of us. Thankfully the neighbours jumped right on it and got it out before it got too far. Gregory was able to help a little by driving a water truck. Just three days after that, another fire started near Biggar. This fire burned for a week and burned approximately 25,600 acres of mainly pastureland and burned an estimated 75 miles of fence. It will take a long time for those poor people to recover.

The evening of April 28th we had an early birthday party for Joseph. Grandpa John was scheduled to go in for cataract surgery on the 29th, Joseph’s actual birthday, so we had an early celebration so that Grandpa and Grandma Eppich could both be there. It turned out that by clerical error, John didn’t have surgery on the 29th. Gregory, John, and Barb spent the whole day in the city just to turn around and come home. The good part was that they were all there again for Joseph’s actual birthday party. Grandma and Grandpa Simon were able to come as well.

It snowed April 30 and again on May 2. Any moisture we could get was much welcomed. With snow holding up fieldwork, it was timely as Gregory had to take John and Barb back into Saskatoon for John’s rescheduled cataract surgery. Gregory went back to the city May 3 and brought John and Barb home after John’s checkup was good.

On May 4 we seeded some oats into one of our grass quarters at Landis. We’ve been using that quarter for hay but the grass is so rootbound that it really hasn’t produced much, so we decided to try something new. By seeding the oats into the grass, Gregory disturbed the root systems which should help the grass, plus we hopefully will get some green feed out of it as well. It’s looking like a dry year so we will need everything we can get.

On May 5 Gregory had a flat tire on the tractor. He fought with it a bit but got it fixed. Hopefully that is the last trouble we have with the tractor for seeding.

We branded our calves on May 8. Leon and Audrey Ochs helped. The calves are looking really nice so far. The next day I took L J and went around the pasture fences. Our new fence looked so nice!

On May 10 we officially started seeding the grain crop. With John’s recent surgery he is not able to be in the dust so it is all hands on deck as we scramble to get everything seeded. Joseph has been Grandma and Grandpa’s little helper most days.

The evening of May 13 we had the first foal of the year, a beautiful red roan filly. Soon there will be a few more.

About the author

Contributor

Heather Eppich is a young former Idaho rancher building a new farm and family with her husband and young son, near Handel, Sask. Contact her at: [email protected]

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