The grain bins are full, the combine is put away and harvest is officially over. If you’re solely a row crop farmer this might be a time to fill in ditches that may have formed in the field, put fertilizer on your fields for next spring or even clean up the shop that has been neglected for 2 months. If you are a diversified farm like my family….another busy season is only just beginning. Calving season is knocking on our door and we aren’t quite ready to answer it. First item on the agenda, get the cows to cornstalks.
During the summers our cow-calf pairs head out to pasture 5-hours west of us (Central Nebraska). While they’re there, they indulge on lush green grass for miles while nurishing their young calf. In the midst of harvest, we made the trip 4 different times to bring them all home. Since they’ve been home this has meant a lot of extra chores in the morning
In the early winter months we take advantage of our cornfields as an alternative feed source. Pasturing cornstalks lets the cows graze on ears of corn that may have been missed by the combine…..or spilled by the grain cart driver…(extremely unlikely as the grain cart driver is really great at their job…*cough, cough* me )
Having the cows on cornstalks for a few months decreases the amount of feedstuffs we have to feed before they begin lactating and feeding their newborn calf. The cows will come off stalks early to mid-January and put into a pen closer to the calving barn. This will help us to keep a better eye on them while they get closer to having their calves. Our first baby calves are expected to arrive middle of January. This will be my first full-time calving season working alongside my Dad and husband to make sure they arrive safely into the world. (Better catch on sleep while I can!)