Monday, July 23, 2012

Hauling Water

This summer has been trying for farmers and ranchers.  The drought and high temperatures has left the crops stunted and shriveled. The pastures are brown and there is hardly any grass left in them. The water sources in the pastures have dried up and we have been hauling water to a few pastures the last two weeks now. In order to haul the water Adam has put a water tank on a flat bed truck.  We fill the tank up at night from the water hydrant at our house, then Adam drives it to the pasture first thing in the morning where he has put a stock tank in the pasture. He hooks up a hose to the tank on the truck and fills the stock tank up so the cattle have water throughout the day.  It has has been so hot recently that he has also started hauling water at night to ensure the cattle have enough water to drink. 

Since the pastures are not providing the cattle with much to eat, Adam and his dad have been chopping corn silage to feed to the cattle.  In a normal year this is not done until around the end of August. The silage is then put into a silage pit or upright silo where it is allowed to ferment for a few months. This year Adam and his dad are green chopping the silage, which means they are not putting it in the silo, they are just feeding it straight to the cattle. Before they started doing this, Adam's dad chopped some samples of silage and sent it off to the lab at K-State.  He did this in order to test the nitrate level of the silage. He wanted to be sure the nitrates were not too high.  In order to feed the silage to the cattle, the nitrate level has to be below 6,000 parts per million.  If it gets over this amount then there is a chance the cows can abort their calves, and we did not want to risk this. They are also feeding hay to the cattle as well to ensure the cattle are getting enough to eat.

Please pray for rain for the Midwest and that farmers and ranchers across the Nation will get some relief from the drought and high temperatures soon!

The water truck used to haul water to the pastures. 

Filling the stock tank with water from the truck. 

Water, water, water, water, yeah!!!! Cattle need water, man!!
The green silage we're feeding the cattle. 
The cows and calves circled around one of the piles of green
silage as they chow down on it. 
This is the freeze brand on the bull from Swearngin Angus. 
The freeze brands from the heifers we have branded in the past. 

Adam smelling the green silage as the cows look at him.  

Mmmm, this is good stuff!

Momma and baby eating the silage. 

Another one of the freeze brands that we did last year. 

One of the calves that is still managing to grow and put
on weight in this heat. 

I'm partial to all black cattle, but the white-faced and brockle-faced
cows and calves are pretty darn cute!
Full-sized view of the bull we have purchased from Swearngin Angus. 
The drought has taken its toll on the pastures. The lack of rain
has left the pastures brown and with little food for the cattle.  

A closer picture to show there is not a single blade of green grass. 

The stock tank is almost full.

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