January Ranch Update
Only 1 week left in January! What a month it has been! The weather alone here in SW MO has gone from 60s to 20s and sunshine to snow. A lot of people I talk to are always amazed at MO fluctuating temperatures. I love the sunshine and 60 days in January, but it is harder on the animals. The horses especially, they had started shedding their winter coats after a few days. Luckily, God made the animals tough and adaptable so the horses quickly fluffed up after a cooler night or two.
How has your January been? I hope it has been good for you and that you have stayed up on the goals you set for yourself! We have been checking in on our goals and so far things are looking good!
We had to sell a lot of cows and more calves then we originally planned but that was necessary with the dry fall and lack of grass. Thankfully with the milder weather we have been able to feed less hay then if the weather stayed in the negatives like it was in Dec.
Most of the hay we bought this year was planned to feed next winter because we were able to feed only 1 bale per cow last winter with the grass we had stock piled. This winter looks like we are going to be feeding the traditional 3 bales per cow, and hoping for good hay prices in the summer.
Improving our soils and grass forage quality is a major goal of ours. Unfortunately, it takes an average of 10 years to really see and reap the benefits of the work we do everyday. And some years if the weather doesn’t cooperate, it adds a set back to the goal.
We are like many people and enjoy instant gratification, but the real world of land and cattle management is so far from that it isn’t even funny! It sure has a way to teaching you patience and appreciation for the long game!
For now I look forward to the day that a dry fall doesn’t set us back and our soil is able to absorb all of the moisture God blesses us with. I look forward to the day where our experiences have taught us how to make better educated guesses on how to manage the land and cattle.
Just in the last 3 years we have learned so much! And 90% of it has been from making the wrong choices, but I do find that we learn more from mistakes then we do from making the right choice. In all areas of life, that’s why I always loved practice test in college, I would for sure remember the questions I got wrong better then the questions I got right.