Crops showing good growth

We finally have had a few summer-like days and it sure feels good.
At the agricultural research station in Emo, we started to cut some of our forages and I was quite shocked at how good it was. I didn’t expect it to be as “growthy” as it was since it seems like we really lacked on heat, but the yields are very good.
Many of our dairy farmers will be busy chopping alfalfa and filling their silos now. Dairy producers cut their hay quite early as this is when the quality is peak.
Alfalfa in the bud stage makes top-notch feed. My plan is to cut our alfalfa at the station this week but we will see if the weather co-operates.
Meanwhile, many of the early grasses (i.e. Orchard Grass) already are fully headed out. Once these grasses have heads, the quality drops off drastically.
Another advantage of cutting your forages earlier is you increase the chance of having a second cut—and sometimes even third.
Most of us beef farmers tend to cut a bit later as we are not as concerned about putting up the top-quality feed (we usually think more about quantity).
Dairy cows, on the other hand, tend to work a lot harder throughout the year, so they need top-quality feed at all times.
• • •
Now that the cows have gone to pasture, you have to take the time to go and check on things.
I often rely on the “listen” check. This just means if you don’t hear a lot of bawling, things must be good.
Currently, the cattle come for water and salt mineral, so this is a good time to check on things. Fortunately, they all seemed pretty content but as I took a closer look, there were a few things going on.
I ended up deciding that one of the injuries was worth trying to sort out and give some medicine. Alas, bringing a cow/calf out of a herd of cattle is no easy task. Luckily, I have a couple of cows that will do anything for a grain pail so if you can get one or two going, you have better luck having someone else following.
In the end, I was successful in getting the calf home and running her through the chute.
?I thought to myself that maybe I should have relied on my “listen” check since all sounded fine; it was the visual inspection that found me more work!)
• • •
The 4-H beef members are now selling tickets on half of a 4-H steer, which is your chance to win some top meat raised right here in Rainy River District.
Tickets are $2 each or 3 for $5, and there are two prizes of a half-steer each. Get your tickets earlier as they are selling quickly.
As well, we have a 4-H club that is participating once again in the Rainy River “Relay for Life,” which takes place June 24-25.
If you are interested in sponsoring any of our members, get in touch with Kim Desserre.
Kurt Desserre, one of our 4-H members, is a cancer survivor so this event is very special to him!

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