About a year and a half ago, I set out to start this blog about my family’s farm . . and . . . well . . . life happened. To make a long story short, I got a new job, thought I was too busy to blog, lost my job, got another new job and had another beautiful baby.
Since my last post, it has been tugging at me to continue this blog because I believe it is so important to share what we do on our farm since not everyone is so fortunate to be connected to a farmer. After watching the Netflix documentary “Farmland” recently, I was re-inspired to give this another try . . . so here goes.
Our winter in this part of the world has been pretty mild . . . so far (knock on wood). Even so, the bitter cold that we experience in Iowa is a reminder of some of the many benefits of raising cattle under roof – warmth, comfort and a dry environment. It has been raining/sleeting for the last couple of days here but the cattle we raise under roof enjoyed some fresh cornstalk bedding today.
These cornstalk bales were made last fall right after our corn was harvested. The combine picks the corn off of the plant and the remainder of the plant is shot out the back of the combine onto the ground. Then we rake the corn stalk residue to form a windrow which we can then bale into cornstalk bales. We then stacked the bales in a pyramid and covered them in plastic to keep them dry and to prevent spoilage caused by moisture.
We bedden our hoop barns once a week so that our cattle continuously have a dry, clean environment to live in.
So, why do we need to bedden these hoop barns with cornstalks? The manure from our animals piles up and we have to scoop it out in order to keep their environment clean. Where does the manure go? We haul the manure to our fields and it will provide fantastic fertilizer for our crops this spring and summer (talk about recycling!). As you can see, we utilize our resources as efficiently as possible to minimize waste and get the very most out of every product we produce.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions, concerns or specific things you would like to know about our farm. Our barn doors are always open.