Solvent Green

It’s hard to call it a dry lot when it rains every day. Now it’s a mud lot. Pity the cows of summer. I’ve been letting the herd out to graze during the mornings. They have started coming back into the lot to drink on their own. Two days ago the whole herd came in and all I had to do was shut the gate. Yesterday they congregated just outside the gate and a few came in to drink at a time. Some weren’t going to try it after being “caught” the day before by the gate. Once my oldest at home daughter and I ran the whole herd in they all drank heartily, since they were already caught. I’m running out of firm places in the yards to place the hay rings. I may have to move outside the yards into the loafing lane that we were running them down to drink in when we started this dry lot experience. I don’t know who will give up first, the rain or I.

The fence on the north farm is two thirds torn out. We would be pulling the rest of the “T” posts today had we not been rained out by 9:00 AM. With the rain came the chance to post this. It had been coming in the afternoons like the monsoons but today we are strait into the rain forest. Thank God for the new tile lines. They are running full time. Now if I can convince the absentee landlord to lay some tile on the five plus acres of his that amounts to nothing on these wet years. Even if it turns back dry like last year the damage is already done on those soaked and standing water acres. This spring when we laid the tile and I was saying to the contractors I’d be better able to point out where they needed to lay the line if it was still wet they said the stunted stalks and cobs would show them. Their the experts. The division of labor paying off Adam Smith style.

Speaking of the division of labor I’m still waiting on the truck to haul the corn out of the storage bins. I may have to divide that labor up into more than one trucking firm. If my older brother can’t get to it my other older brother has a son who started farming last year and he has bought his own truck. The boy went to college so his truck business card reads “Commodity Relocation Specialist”. Newspeak for trucker. College loans, where would we be without ’em. Oh that’s right, solvent. Out of the red and into the black. Making the green. Solvent green. Aka capital. Yes, that’s capital. Not loans. Debt is the opposite of capital. It leads to farmers working for the shit when it comes to hogs. I can remember when the shit was the by product and the farmers got the money for the hogs. Now they don’t even own the hogs. Some communist Chinese corporation does. The other white meat is now Red meat.

It’s still raining on the scarecrow.

See ya then see ya there …….




I haven’t written in a while. Not since the cattle have been dry-lotted on pasture hay. Which was as soon as I rounded them up and sold the last of the bulls. I may have a couple four hundred pounders left. I was out of good pasture here at home and I didn’t want the cows to overgraze so I confined them to the barn yard. Well, two barnyards to be exact. Last summer I rearranged the cement feed bunks and divided the one yard into two. It makes sorting the cattle much easier. If one gets by me it doesn’t disappear around the barn so the others think there’s a way out. Now it has to stand by the divide fence where all the others can still see it. That usually leads to it wanting to rejoin the others for a safer feeling. No herding animal wants what is perceived as a predator between them and the herd. Separation from the herd is the first step in stalking/killing and they sense that. A noble instinct.

The bulls brought good money. Even slim Jim with the frozen off tail. If it’s beef the market wants it. I’m still tempted to off the whole herd. Call the trucker and send them to the sale barn. Or at least all but maybe sixteen. The number I started out with back in the eighties. I’d be back up to a hundred before I knew it. I seem to have more girls born than boys. Not just the human kind. When I sold off the northern herd a year and a half ago I had eighty five percent heifer calves in the calf crop. Which was handy since I had told my brother who’d bought them that I would except the heifer price (usually lower) than the steer price for the calves. He was going to have to cut (castrate) the bulls to make steers. That adds labor and may set the calves back while they heal. It also increases the chance for illness and some have even died from the procedure. I know I would. I’m not that noble.

I am a father however. Six times as far as I know. A full bull. On a full pull. I hope. I’m not out of the gate yet. I still have one aged seven. Eleven to go. I think I can make it. Barring any fatal accidents. Or the complications that can arise from such. I have five of the most wonderful daughters and had one of the most wonderful sons any father could ask for. I know we all say that but that’s because it’s true. To us they are. To them we are. Even though it’s not perfect no one treats us better than our immediate family. Especially when we then they get moved out on their own. Brothers and sisters are much easier to get along with after they’ve moved away from home. I saw it in my siblings. Now I’m seeing it in the kids. Every gent in his own tent. But then the buck stops there. No one else allowed. I’m all for family. One per house. A noble idea?


Post Script,

I missed the opportunity to bring this up on Mother’s Day and almost forgot today.

The real reasons for Mother’s and Father’s Days.

In the spring when showers are plentiful and days are getting longer more grass and other vegetative growth is increasing daily. Given all other odds against it spring is the time in nature when one of the best windows of opportunity for bringing into this world and raising up a grazing animal opens up. So if you are an owner of these animals and tasked with their dependency on you to thrive a potential mother should have given birth by the day with the date designated Mother’s Day. If not she’s to be sold. She’s no mother you want to own/manage from here on out since she won’t cycle to be re bred in time for a spring calving next year. If you want to make sure that is going to happen in a herd of cattle you need to refrain the bulls from breeding the herd until nine months prior. If you turn in the bulls in the middle of June on the day with the designation Father’s Day you’ll start to have the potential to calve in the middle of march. Just in time for spring. So your Mother’s/Father’s day present is the right to be present. It’s time to breed.