Friday, October 31, 2008

Autumn Grazing

It has been too long since I've posted an update to our blog. A dry and busy fall coupled with the recent Field to Fork Dinner have kept us very busy. The steers above seem to be asking "what is next" as they bask in the warmth of the morning light.

Autumn is a wonderful time at St. Brigid's Farm. As I write a post I often wonder who the audience will be so allow me say up front that this one will be a tad technical. Why is it a wonderful time? The list is long...
  1. We have finally received rain! Because of that the cows have grass to graze.

  2. Grass at this time of year grows similar to spring time vegetative growth but will not get "ahead of the cows" due to shorter days and cool nights.

  3. None of our cows are due to calve at this time of year so we have no babies and no expecting Moms.

  4. The cows we are milking are all accustomed to the routine and can be called "easy keepers".

  5. Stable fly and horn fly annoyance is over.

  6. Heat stress for the cows is over.

  7. Storage of winter forage is complete.

  8. Judy has a very capable part time helper for milking , Katie Dixon.

Now about the pictures...we intended to re-seed Field #3west this fall in to perennial rye grass. Conditions were so dry in August and September for preparing the seedbed that at the last minute we decided to wait a full year before planting a sward that we'd be living with for the next 10 years. Instead we opted to plant winter rye (aka cereal rye) followed by sorghum as a summer annual next year and then get ready again in '09 for the perennial rye grass. So far the winter rye has been a hit!