Farming full of weather-related challenges

What a great long weekend! I realize we all are looking for a bit of rain and a few places received some I’m hearing. I feel confident it will come–I just hope it doesn’t all come at once next weekend during the Emo Fair.
The weather forecast looks sunny for the next couple of weeks, which seems unreal to me. I’m hearing that many farmers are close to feeding hay or already are. This makes for a very long winter and very hard on feed, especially if you are short on feed from the dry conditions.
Farming is so full of challenges and so many of them are related to weather.
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Over at the Emo Agricultural Research Station, meanwhile, we already have combined two trials, which also is a record. Our winter wheat and malting barley trial were ready to go last week so we tackled them both.
It is looking like we should be able to do a few more this week and this is great for me, personally, although I am concerned about the grain conditions. It could be that we will see a small, less plump kernel, which will correlate to lower yields.
Often, we are combining right after the Emo Fair and in a rush to hurry before the summer students leave. And in fact, I had expected we would be combining a little later because we planted a bit later this year.
This weather of late has caused some early maturing dates.
I am happy that my students can help with harvest (they might not be as happy as me) but it allows them to see the cycle of our trials.
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Jamie O’Shea from Grand Valley Fortifiers toured the area last week. He enjoyed seeing some of our great cattle and the vastness of our district. We toured from Fort Frances to Rainy River, and tried to get as far north as we had time for.
Jamie’s job allows him to see many farms and he pointed out he’s seen many of our “Rainy River Raised” cattle across this big province.
Our tag program is working!
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One of the more challenging parts of our beef clubs (at least for me) is getting a display ready for the Emo Fair. It is a requirement that our clubs prepare a display so visitors can view it in our 4-H Exhibit Hall (next door to the food booth).
The idea is that we display the topics that we taught in our clubs, although isn’t always that easy to get things summed up and displayed on a board.
Be sure to take the time to view all our displays–and get a taste of what we have been doing this past year in 4-H!
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So next week is the Emo Fair! Already. It kind of makes me sad that fall is coming. The evenings definitely are cooling off and it is dark by 9:15 p.m. now (I am missing that hour in the evening outside).
If you’ve seen my list of things to do inside, you’d say take advantage of it.
Maddie and Marlee have been working at getting some crafts ready for the fair! I am so happy and excited that they are taking part of this tradition. It is such a great way to be a part of the fair and it is exciting to venture into the Exhibition Hall to look and see if you were lucky to get a prize.
I take next week off and just do “fair stuff!” It is likely one of my favourite weeks of the year. I hope to make a few things myself but getting the cattle ready is a priority.
The girls already are a huge help with that, and have been taking on more and more responsibility. I asked them on the weekend: “Do you girls like this or are you just doing it because I want you to?” Their response was, “No, Auntie Kimmie, we love it!”
Awesome, just awesome I thought to myself.
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Just a quick reminder the 4-H food booth cleanup and fencing painting is set for Monday, Aug. 13 at 10 a.m. (lunch provided).
If you are planning on participating in the Open Beef Show, entries must be in by Monday, Aug. 13 at the fairgrounds office (from 4-8 p.m.)
Display set-up and barn set-up goes Wednesday, Aug. 15 starting at 6 p.m. And all cattle must be on the fairgrounds by 9 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 17.
The Open Beef Show starts at 1 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 17th (or directly following the Dairy Show if there are dairy cattle).
The 4-H Beef Show starts at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 18. Steers are weighed Friday (Aug. 17) at 5 p.m. while the steer auction starts at 4 p.m. on Saturday (Aug. 18).
The 4-H fairgrounds clean-up then goes Monday, Aug. 20 starting at 6 p.m.

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