Farmers seeking assistance

Well I must fit about two weeks worth of meetings into the first three days of this week. I am already going into this week feeling tired. I am hoping that something will come out of all the talk and we will have help in finding feed for our cattle. I am afraid that the cost of feed is driving more and more cattle out of our District. Other options of purchasing screening pellets or hulls is also expensive, hard to source and will most likely cost $ to set up something to feed this way. What scared me the most is the lack of feed that we need from now until our normal feeding time. This shortage of grass is adding three or four months until our feeding time. We have fenced off an area that I will get my cows into this week. I am not sure how long it will last but it will give me a bit of time. A very real part of the situation we are in right now is the fact we will be dealing with the overgrazed pastures next year even if we get a rain. That is what is making me nervous about trying to keep as many cows as possible because I don’t think next year is going to be great with the situation we are dealing with now. I reached out to our municipalities asking for letters to support our current drought situation. I was so pleased on how quick many responded with excellent letters. Thank you. Another group was having a special church service to pray for rain. BFO, OFA and GFO have organized a Zoom call for producers in North Western Ontario for this Wednesday at 11 am to hear from everyone in hopes by working together we can find solutions to keep our cattle here. Hay is hard to find and it is very expensive if you do find some. Most guys are pencilling it out and there is just no way they can make it work. If you do decide to ship some animals out, please use qualified, licensed animal haulers. I heard a horrible story this weekend where this was not the case and animals were hurt.

We are working on our last field of hay now. It is horrible but we must clean it off. The truth is every bale counts, but the count is a long way from keeping many cows. I am thinking I will sell any of my heavy calves early. Not sure what to do with the lambs. They are not heavy enough to sell yet but they are extra mouths to feed. Three goat kids are gone, though they are not the big eaters here.

The Sales Barn project ran into a few troubles last week, but they are continuing. With projects like this I think you can expect things to arise. We are still hoping things will be ready to go for our first sale – that is booked for August 28. It could be a big sale or not so big at all if a lot of the cattle leave the district before then.

If you are looking to stock up on hamburger now would be a great time to visit with your local farmer. If you need help connecting with someone, I would be happy to help.