Tuesday, January 29, 2013
There Was a Time ...
Although I'm not constantly checking the weather because I find that there hasn't been much I could do to change it I do find myself looking ahead and trying to plan around the freeze and thaw that we experience here in central Iowa. For example ... if I have a choice of moving big round bales or pulling three tons of feed in my feed wagon I would rather do those things when the ground is frozen as opposed to when there is a nice layer of slick mud!
The thing that does get my attention these days though are articles such as this one from one of the local television stations. When this came across my news feed I just had to groan a little at the suggestion from "experts" that this may be a two-year drought. This past year was a bit stressful with the lack of rain, heat, and of course the rising feed prices. In the short almost five years on the farm I have seen my hog feed prices more than double! At the same time I have not doubled the prices of my products for sale and have been working very hard to improve my efficiencies on the farm when it comes to feeding.
When it comes to our heritage breed hogs it does help very much having them out on the pasture and in the woodlot, but I also find myself constantly checking the feeders and working to adjust them the best I can so that feed is not wasted. I'm also planning on doing a better job of getting the cattle into the little nooks and crannies of the farm this year (woods, corners, ditches, etc.). As far as the chicken and rabbits go it is going to be very important to keep them rotating on the pasture and foraging as much as possible.
I would love to hear what others are doing to increase feeding efficiencies whether it is for ruminants or non-ruminants!