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Harvest continued through October, but slowly

The hailed-out hay and crop will make fall and winter feed

The end of September brought rain and then snow. Gregory and John managed to get all but two fields swathed before the snow. We had about five inches or more of snow, which Joseph loved. As it slowly started melting over the next few days, he was quite disappointed and was always wanting to go outside to see if there was more snow. I reassured him that there would be more later.

Due to some of the grain not being dry, we have had to make a few changes and additions to our grain storage program. John bought a propane tank and we bought a Frost Fighter heater so that we could put hot air on the wheat and dry it down to where we can handle it.

On October 5 Gregory, John, and I went over to the home native pasture and rounded up the cows and calves. That little piece of native grass did very well this year and both the cows and the calves were looking very good, but it was definitely time to get them off before they grazed it too short.

Gregory and I rode while John helped head them on the ground. The cows were feeling quite good and kicked their heels up and had some fun with us, but we eventually got everyone in the loading corral. We loaded the cows in the big trailer and the calves in our two-horse trailer and left the horses tied to the fence. We unloaded them in the Landis pasture with the rest of our mature cows. The yearling heifers and a few young cows are still over on the native pasture by Landis.

After everyone was paired up, we opened the gate to the north side, which was supposed to be our hayfield but was hailed out too badly for us to get any hay off. It will serve very well as a fall pasture and hopefully will produce even better next year, as long as the hail leaves it alone.

October 8 was a little wet so I took the opportunity to haul three mares and one foal home from Danny and Sheila Roth’s. It has been helpful to be able to take a few horses down to their place for the summer.

We rounded up the cows at Landis on October 10 and sorted off some of our best black white-face steers. Gregory hauled them into Provost for the sale the next day, while I ran into Biggar to pick up parts. We will have to take the rest in at a later time.

The next day I weaned the foals in the morning and then we headed to Landis with the swather, a combine, the baler and a grain truck. The barley at Landis, like the hayfield, was hit by two hail storms and so there wasn’t much of a crop to harvest, but being short of feed we decided to combine the barley to knock the beards off and to bale the straw. The barley beards can cause abscesses and sores in the cows’ mouths if they eat them. We didn’t combine the whole field because the barley was quite tough but did about 60 acres to get enough straw bales. We are going to tub-grind the straw with some of our oat greenfeed bales. That should make it so that we have enough feed this year.

About the author

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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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