Wow, what a change in weather!
On Monday, Nov. 10, the morning was windless and mild, so I decided to grind roughage. At 9 a.m. it was 70 degrees, but the wind changed to the north and got strong. By sunset that night, the temperature was 20 and still dropping. What a way to welcome the first cold spell. We actually got down to 6 degrees below zero one night during the week before Thanksgiving and have had some snow flurries but no measurable amount of moisture.
The fall crops are all in and the machines are put in storage. The feed is all baled but still in the field. My fall crops were better than last year but not anything outstanding. There have been good yields around, but mainly in areas that received rain in May. We were very fortunate that we never had hail as some did in the area. There are a few still waiting on some corn to dry down.
The wheat drilling went very well. We had great moisture to plant in. The stands look good and there was some growth before this cold spell, enough that there are cattle out on the drilled wheat in areas. That is something that we havenít seen in this part of Kansas for several years. I have even heard some comments that they hope the wheat doesnít get too big.
Most of the calves have been weaned. We weaned our calves on Oct. 18. They were bigger than I had guessed. That is always a good feeling. We sent the steers and heifers that we didnít keep for replacements to the feedlot. We sold a percentage of them to the feedlot owner. Since we grew more grass this year, we kept back a few more replacement heifers than last year. Hopefully we can gradually build the herd back to where we were before the drought.
We have two milo fields fenced and ready to put cows in. Iím not really looking forward to hauling water in freezing weather, but I may have to if it doesnít warm up. The cows will be only a few miles from the house, so if the weather gets bad we can bring them home quickly.
From talking to the neighbors, most are hoping for good winter moisture. That is something we havenít had for several winters. It makes doing chores rougher but sure helps the spring crops and the grass.
With the elections over and control of the Senate in different hands, many out at this end of the state are hoping for fewer of the regulations, which keep putting a burden on the farming and ranching communities. We are also glad we donít have to listen to and watch all of the ads on the radio and television.
We are entering the time of year to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior. Our farm and ranch would like to wish everyone a merry Christmas and a joyous new year.
Lynn Kirkham, his wife and youngest daughter and her husband farm and ranch in western Logan County. He started ranching and farming with his father in 1972 and bought his uncleís farm and ranch in 1975.