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  • AgWeb team

    AgWeb team,

    Yo-all might want to check again, it ain't work'n fir chit again!

  • #2
    Don't get tripped by what's behind you


    • #3
      I have not been ABLE to log in for some time. Today AW accepted my password.

      So today is my lucky day, and nobody is here anymore. Guess I could have just remained CAIN or un-ABLE


      • #4
        Originally posted by Kinghere View Post
        I have not been ABLE to log in for some time. Today AW accepted my password.

        So today is my lucky day, and nobody is here anymore. Guess I could have just remained CAIN or un-ABLE
        I'm on, Don, and my ? for you this week was...did you get any rain? We're dry, no rain in week+, actually cut 1st yesterday. It is on the dry side of the farm, and had a shot of manure 1 month ago.BIG crop that grew in cooler weather= more growth and no heads popping out. Watched the Kentucky Derby yesterday, Do you think ECI had to park his planter?


        • #5
          I'm a distant neighbor (10 ?) miles of KH. I'll tell you how things are in the middle of Wisconnie. We're half way between Green Bay and Minneapolis. Winter ended last weekend. Some rain since then and waiting for land to dry down since. Zero fieldwork has been done anywhere in this area due to very wet. The last few days has brought dry breezy conditions so fieldwork should be fast and furious this week. For us grazers the grass has grown about 1" so far. Pastures and grass fields have been too wet to fertilize but the sunny breezy warm days recently should allow us to get nitrogen put down and cows should be able to start in and out grazing soon. I see my grain tank is due to be filled later this week so I will be ordering the "spring flush recipe" . That means the grain mix will be salt , lime , and ground corn. Soy meal will be dropped till at least the 7th of June. Pounds of carbohydrates (grain) will be reduced as level of sugars in grazed grasses are 4 times higher than in haylage. With the milk cows already at 84 pounds per cow we would expect grain feeding to drop to a low of 16 pounds and milk levels to stay in mid eighties or hopefully rise to 90 pounds per cow. We'll see.

          Grain levels and protein levels will be adjusted at each grain fill , about 20 days.
          Last edited by RON11; 05-06-2018, 02:23 PM.


          • #6
            I and my son checked fields earlier today. My next door neighbor was out on his patio enjoying a tall cold one. Well like the fields, we got out. Neither us or the fields are very short on moisture.

            This will teach me that beer after no breakfast is not the best idea. At least with the early onset hangover, there is no guilt in being lazy.

            Like Ron said, fields work will start tomorrow or later today. Alfalfa stands survived the winter pretty good. weight limits are still on so going down the road with manure equipment, full sized tillage equipment., or planters is still illegal.

            We had about 1.5 inches of rain last week At least the snow melted and most of the frost is out. Springs and tile lines are running full. About 30 inches more snow than normal. Haying is about 25 days away give or take. Lots of acres top cover, and 15 million f--king gallons of liquids to haul yet
            Last edited by Kinghere; 05-06-2018, 03:12 PM.


            • #7
              I guess my definition of "start in and out grazing soon" meant right now. I was doing some fence tear down and replace next to the interstate highway and found the ground to be reasonably dry. I found patches of quackgrass to be nearly three inches tall on southern slopes with high fertility. I put the cows on a paddock next to the cowyard because it had a good amount of quackgrass. I don't expect it to fill the cows up but it will give them a good taste and they loved laying in the grass for a few hours. Most importantly to me the cows got some of the enzymes that are on grasses into their bellies. According to some researchers it makes a big help in digestion and hence - production. Got my fingers crossed !

              Oh , BTW - The replacing of perimeter fence along the interstate was caused by .................a driver driving off the road and through the fence during a winter icy event. There are supposedly over 10,000 cars PER DAY that travel past my farm each day. Not very surprising that one would go through the fence . Only one in 20 years IS more of a surprise.The biggest surprise is that the vehicle that went through my fence was a brand new pick-up driven by my next door neighbors wife ! Maybe not so surprising is after going completely through the fence she thought she would just drive throu the pasture for a hundred yards and drive into my yard. Not such a bad plan except for two little details. 1- if you get to my yard you would still be inside the pasture perimeter fence. 2 - And more importantly there is a boulder filled creek bed with straight down drop banks 4 feet deep ! In her defense the creek was invisible under the wind blown snow , at least till the brand new pick-up plowed into it while four wheeling cross country in Wisconsin winter.

              There is zero chance the pick-up's paint went unscathed . As for the underside , who knows. At least she had the fences all cleared out because the tow truck had to go straight down the interstate steep embankment and drag her out along the creek. Couldn't reach her from where she went in. Probably seemed like a good plan at the time. Who hasn't tried something that ended up bad. NO , I did NOT charge them anything and told the cops everything was good . That's how we deal with neighbors around here.


              • #8
                Fences.. the main reason I never liked grazing cows. my Dad farmed in a swamp! The cows grazed in the swamp, walked thru the swamp to get to the mudhole called the cow yard. Then the youngsters [kids] got to cleanse that swamp mud off the cows.. I vowed to never do that. But I do have many memories of fencing and creeks and cars destroying fences./ I have heifers in an exercise yard surrounded by erectric fences. Power goes out, heifers get out. At least my road is nothing like your interstate traffic.

                i hope your cows respond well to the green green grass of home. your days are easier, and we really need more milk on the market.. I won't add anything about sarcasm intended. You have a built in comeback to anything I can say about increasing production.


                • #9
                  I have plenty of disappointments and nightmares of my own from fencing dads cows and heifers back in the 70's and 80's. I like to think I'm just so much better at fencing than all those who came before - but that is just an illusion. Those days , if 3 blades of grass touched the fence the current went to zero. If the grass was wet from rain or morning dew it only took 1 bade of grass ! That was tough keeping cows or heifers in. On top of that , the animals seemed to test the fence every 10 minutes just because so often they would get lucky and there would be no current. Keeping cows in fences was a major pain in the butt all the while I was growing up ! Dad put cows on hayfields during drought of '76 of orchard alfalfa mixed and said it made good use of hay too small to cut and rake but pulled the fencing out the next year because keeping cows in was an azzache he didn't need and didn't want !

                  The most important invention that makes intensive grazing possible today is the high impedance fencer. Those are fencers that put out currents at such high voltages (9000 volts)that being grounded out does NOT stop current from continuing down the rest of the fence. Three blades of grass means nothing ! The fence can lay on the ground for 100" in a dew laden pasture and a heifer at the far end of the farm will still get shocked. Not just any shock . The shock from a low impedance fencer will hurt all the way to YOUR BONES ! I kid you not. Just remembering the pain from low impedance shocks in the last few years makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up right now. AND those damn cows and heifers who think they are so smart by using a dry whisker to test the fence like they did in the old days - well that current will arc a quarter inch and put an end to that mischief straight away ! A more satisfying sight you will never see.

                  Grazing waste lands " 'cause it ain't good for noth'in else" was an old technique that was no good. I will whole heartedly agree. It "ain't good for noth'in' " would have been a lot more accurate. NOT penning cattle in those god foresaken areas would certainly have been easier easier and probably more profitable in the long run especially if we counted mastitis.I think the German frugality in us didn't allow for wasting land no matter how much trouble it made. Waste not-want not !

                  I am milking 47 cows today. Eleven dry cows to calve in the next couple of months. That means I have a herd of 58 cows total. Another 9 bred heifers to replace future culls and add some milk cows. That means I will most likely be milking , at my peak , a number of cows in the low sixties. Because we are modified seasonal grazers we milk , at my lowest , a number of cows in the low 20's. If everything was evened out like most dairy farms I guess I would be milking 45-50 cows each day. I'd have 7 or 8 dry cows and 10-14 bred heifers.

                  That would be IF I had my same herd of dairy cattle but had them calve evenly throughout the year. The fact is if I were farming conventionally (cows in the barn) I would have to immediately kick heifers and dry cows out somewhere else and keep the barn full of only milking cows to have any chance at making decent money. With roughages at half the cost (1/3 the cost in summer---2/3 the cost in winter) and far better in quality in intensive grazing system I can have a 1 man farm system. And that farm can MAKE BANK ! Last years family payout was $83,000. This years goal is to match that. The plan does include more production AND cost cutting with the same number of cows. I am confident so far. I do love it when my plan comes together ! ha
                  Last edited by RON11; 05-07-2018, 06:32 AM.


                  • #10
                    Mornin', Ron; I thot the idea behind seasonal production was to eliminate milking for at least 1 month during winter. If you have to milk 20 or 50 twice/day, whats the big deal? The country I live in was pasture based. The loggers were the 1st ones thru here, late 1800's, then came the cattle grazing around the stumps and swamps, dynamite removed all but the biggest stumps,[ if you put a case of dynamite under a stump, and it didn't give, they left it!] With the advent of bulldozers in the 40's all but the main swales were filled/leveled...the main ones were left for drainage. Pasturing is efficient, but if its wet, you just plow the ground and produce weeds. The advent of horsepower in tractors made greenfeeding a much better choice, especially with flotation tires. You had better hope your co-op/milk buyer really NEEDS milk, cuz lotsa plant managers would question your value to their operation. May your spring be early,[oops] and your summer cool, your fall late, and winter mild.


                    • #11
                      Good afternoon Percy. The evolution from trees to dairy around here is about the way you laid it out. Here the timber companies cut the trees and shipped logs and lumber out on rail. Timber and railroad companies divided the land and sold it to mostly immigrants , Polish and German in this area. We , believe it or not , were the top wheat growing area for a while. When the land wore down and bugs multiplied some guys , like Mr. Hoard (Hoards Dairyman Magazine) preached the virtues of animal agriculture in the beginning of the 1900's and Wisconsin's dairy industry was born. At the end of WWll dynamite was handed out by ag extension agents.

                      We are not nearly as wet as you guys may be in the West. We thaw out like all our frozen frozen farmland every spring. When the ground is firm enough to support tractors it's plenty good enough to hold cows. After that we are most likely going to get a bit too dry most years. Again , we are probably less wet than you. We went through our green chopping phase back in the 60's , 70's and it died out in the eighties. The idea was simple enough- bring the grass (or alfalfa) to the cows instead of bringing cows to the grass. Problem is it is not so cheap to do after dirt cheap fuel ended in early 70's. It was a time consuming process that needed to be done rain or shine , every day including days when busy planting or harvesting.

                      We never intended to be seasonal. We are called modified seasonal. That means we know we can make insane amounts of profits by having cows at peak milk production while grass is at peak quality and quantity production. Having most of the cows fresh 60 days at pasture turnout lets the cows produce the most with very little grain costs. We chop high quality grass for winter feeding so there is no need to cull great cows since great cows are usually the ones who take a little more time to get bred. Those great cows will still be very profitable on grass silage. The high profit margin comes from no tillage and planting. That is coupled with reducing harvesting to half the acreage. Everything else just evolved around it as opportunities to increase profits were seen and taken advantage of. Some folks are willing to cull good cows who bred slow just to get time off , at least time away from milking. Not me. I like feeding and milking cows in stall barn. I suppose the high profit margins do make it more pleasurable.

                      Current cost of feeding the milking herd @ 84 pound tank average is 18 pounds of grain x8.25 cents per pound =$1.49 of grain and all the homegrown grass they can eat. In a few days the soybean meal is dropped which saves $500+ but corn is probably going up about $150 (12 ton load). As grass volumes go up , grain needs will go down-probably as low as 16 pounds for 85-90 pound tank milk average. CHA_-CHING ....that's what I call "making bank!" This is the time of year to make maximum BANK ! We will still make good profits as grain feeding and protein feeding increases. After all , compared to the price of milk grain is cheap. Of course high profits start with high quality forage - grazed or machine harvested. Grazed is just an opportunity to produce the BEST feed at the LOWEST cost. To get returns over $1000 per cow profit grazing is a must. Being able to produce the cheapest milk , IF necessary , will give us the best chance of keeping a buyer for my milk too. imho
                      Last edited by RON11; 05-07-2018, 01:56 PM.


                      • #12
                        Just caught a quick lunch, the chopper will roll momentarily. Producing cheap milk at a time when milk is cheapest, spring grass, has plagued our industry for 100 years. Components drop, and so does payout. I'll guarantee to everybody that Nobody wants extra milk NOW. Sure they'll take it at a reduced price, or you have a contract to protect you, but they don't need more when they have too much already. Since you don't supply them when they could use it,[winter], I hope they do you a favor and keep you.


                        • #13
                          Milking exactly the same number of cows as I did when I started on my own 25 years ago. About 60. If you want to look for someone to blame you probably will need to look to my North , South , East or west. In every direction I am surrounded by MANY farms that have gone from 80 or 90 cows to 1,000 , 2,000 , 3,000 and more. I'm milking 47 cows at this time of year and when my semi-seasonal dry cows and bred heifers finish calving I might get to 60. One thing I will never take blame for is the current milk surplus. I will make a good living without taking sacrifices in lifestyle. I refuse to work more than about 2000 hours per year. I also refuse to take an oath of poverty. I am happy to compete with the the mega-dairies. The spread between their cost of production and my cost of production multiplied by my current production = a fine living for me and my family. Again- my goal is $80,000 of profit for family living. $60,000 is nearly guaranteed. The current markets are offering $16-$17 take home the rest of the year. I'll take that kind of bank all week long - twice on Sundays !

                          As far as buying my milk -it does appear customers prefer milk produced my way. Pastoral AND cheaply. If the big farmers have caused a problem in price because of their greed it is their problem to fix. I am more than happy to compete with any and all takers. Let the real Capitalism begin ! imho

                          It's when the tide goes out that we see who has been swimming naked ! Warren Buffett......... Everybody looks like a good manager when markets are high. It's when market drop that we see who really is doing a good job. But we can always keep in mind that "What fixes low prices ... Is low prices !" If prices are to low to supply the market the prices will adjust accordingly.

                          Time to fertilize grass hay and pasture. Got to stay ahead of the competition ! ha
                          Last edited by RON11; 05-08-2018, 12:48 PM.


                          • #14

                            you two/2 tuggers need to look around... lol


                            • #15
                              The AW Dairy thread is like dairy farming in the 'real world'' Nobody left to do the job.

                              Dennis, there are a huge number of retail cheese shops along most main highways and in many communities. Also farmers around here have set up small cheese factories producing specialized cheeses like kosher cheese. These are sold to the high end buyers on both coasts. Selling cheese and other products is more efficient if selling online vrs. building huge stores.

                              sell good cheese made from good Wisconsin milk, Not sage brush flavored out west chitt. LOL