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About this blog

I was asked this in a status update. After the first part, I realized it would probably fit better here, so here is my first attempt at a blog and first attempt to fully answer this question, to the best of my ability.

If you have a question or if I explained something poorly or somewhat skipped it, let me know in the comments or in some way and I will try to answer or fix it.

I will apologize for any grammar and spelling mistakes, I'm currently the "night shift" of the farm, meaning this is usually being written between 1 and 4 AM. I am hoping this comes off more like a conversation than a report.

Entries in this blog

Mud

We have went from drought to now fighting mud, in case anyone was wondering.  Long story short, it's much better having to pull out equipment and drain puddles than to fight fires as irrigation is an expensive government paperwork nightmare. 

Drought II

Long story short, we are still in a drought. Basically no snow, no moisture, and short on feed, compared to most years anyways.  The mass exodus of cattle continues from this area with salesbarns running at capacity, like they have been for the last two years now. If it does not rain, the Northern Plains will be put into a situation that it hasn't seen since the 1980s and 1930s. It's already dryer than most of those years and they keep predicting more moisture yet it never comes. The m

TheGleaner

TheGleaner in Weather

Drought I

This entry does not really have any format.   To start off, drought isn't uncommon for our area, but droughts of nature like this usually happen rarely, the last time was in the 1980s, before that roughly the 1950s or 1960s or the 1970s depending on your area, before that the 1930s, before that it sounded like the 1910s had one and then the 1890s and possibly the 1880s or 1860s. Historically the last decade or so has been above average for precipitation.  The winter of 2018 starte

TheGleaner

TheGleaner in Weather

Fences

Here in North America, we mostly use barbed wire also known as barbwire. Why? It was invented here, its relatively cheap, it's easy to use, it's one of the safer types of fence to use around cattle, and...well its everywhere. A barbed wire fence consists of barbed wire, two strands of smooth wire twisted around each other to secure the barb, made of the same wire curled like a spring and threated on one wire, which is then stretched tight over a distance. The ends must be well bra

TheGleaner

TheGleaner in Cattle

How Do You Market Agriculture?

As in PR, Public Relations. Marketing, as in selling products will come later, probably when we sell something as things are constantly changing.    This entry was inspired by a "Applejack the background character" post, which here's what I wrote and then decided it fit better here as...well...we're kinda in the same spot, how do you market your industry, your life, to a market which knows very little about modern agriculture?   The post: And well what is being done to

TheGleaner

TheGleaner in PR

Calving Part 2: Cows Hiding Calves.

A short one for tonight: Cows will hide their calves and then go eat or do something else, if no one is babysitting. Our first calf of this year we did see born but if we didn't, and then found him like this, we would have to find the mother and if it's not their idea, they will not go back to their calf and probably lead you aways from it, while every other cow is now worried about it. Yes there is a calf in this picture, try to find it! For an extra challenge, put on dark sungla

TheGleaner

TheGleaner in Cattle

Calving Part 1

Well today marks the day of "from here one should show up at random" and then in a week to two weeks, the flood gates open for two weeks or so, 10-20 a day. Every single one must be caught, tagged, and vaccinated as soon as possible as once they are awake, they are speedy, slippery, and loud things. Day old? That ain't happening. 12 hours? Nope. 6 hours? Pushing it. I am working on how to phrase this part of this section, and how far should I go, but I figured this was worth a mention. 

TheGleaner

TheGleaner in Cattle

Measurement Explanations

So I use the US Standard System. This is different from the Imperial and Metric System. Common explanations for measurements. A bushel, to make it easy here, is 60 pounds. Yes it does vary from crop to crop. It is a measurement of volume + weight. lbs is pounds. # can mean lbs or 100 pounds. CWT is a "hundred weight". A ton is 2000lbs ' means foot/feet. " is inches. To make this easy, an Acre is about the size of a North American Football Field, and there is about 2

Cattle Introduction, With Horse Explanation

We raise beef cattle, Hereford, Red Angus, and Black Angus to be exact. I can not speak for dairy cattle, aside from we have been off and on looking to get a few for multiple reasons, which will be explained eventually. For beef cattle...it appears that you either love them or hate them. I like the Hereford breed because they seem to be able to think, for the most part, and realize that "the two legged things that feed us, heal us, and annoy us isn't going to give up, so let's get this

TheGleaner

TheGleaner in Cattle

Farm Bill Introduction

If naming bills by what most of their budget is spent on, the farm bill should be called the "Food Stamp Bill" as most of its spending is on the food stamp program and similar supplemental nutrition programs and programs like school lunches. Ever wonder why school lunches only cost a few dollars growing up? This is why. Locally the school lunches are about $6 with milk and fruit. The food itself costs alot more than that. It is generally agreed that no matter who writes it, it is never good

TheGleaner

TheGleaner in Paperwork

Paperwork Introduction

Today's farming requires a lot of paperwork. In this category I will try to cover most of the paperwork required and solve some common misconceptions. Included here, but not limited to: The Farm Bill Banking Insurance  Farm Programs  FSA Programs NRCS Programs And  more.

TheGleaner

TheGleaner in Paperwork

The Introduction & The Background

We farm and ranch around the Geographical Center of North America and as a result I can only comment on basically Great Plains/Northern Plains/Canadian Praries farming and ranching. We are on the USA side of the border, but not that terrible far from it. We have about 3000 acres under cultivation.  We have about 300 cow calf pairs of beef cattle, mostly of the Hereford breed.  Our land ranges from flatter than glass to rivaling the Palouse region of Washington State. Trees only ex

The Short Answer

The short answer to this question is: combine just about every job you can think of, from accounting to surgeon, mechanic to PR advertising, engineer to computer tech, today's farmer has to do it all. You are busy all the time and then you sit around and try, and fail, to find something to do. You are your own boss, so you are in control of your future, your days off, and your paycheck(to a point). The "Old McDonald" type of farmer and farming, the type of farm with every type of animal, gr
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