Down the Cow Path
Nothing strikes as much fear in the heart of a cow calf operator as a phone call in the summer. It usually comes an hour or so before dark. The message is short and makes your stomach do flip-flops: Your cows are out!
So far this year it has happened only once, but it came as I getting out of the shower, getting ready to go to the band concert in Princeton. Luckily, the neighbor who called helped me get them in and helped in fixing the fence. By 8:30 that night, we were finally able to go home and hit the showers, again. Electric fencing is quick and inexpensive to put up, but deer, weeds, multiflora rose and falling branches tend to render it useless. Once cows get out they seem to think it is their right to get in the neighbors’ fields, so for the last two weeks, a lot of time has been spent walking fences and keeping them clear of debris and in working order.
After a wet and late start, the crops are finally looking good. Corn is tasseling, and the beans are growing. We also just finished our second cutting of hay and are in good shape with about 169 bales of winter feed. Mowing of waterways and roadsides along with cleaning out corn bins takes up a lot of our summer also.
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