my daily life on a cattle farm, my love of agriculture, and stories behind my photos

Friday, December 16, 2016

feeding silage

We opened the silage bag this afternoon. It smelled so good!
In September, we chopped six acres of corn and bagged it to store until fed. The silage will be used as feed for our calves.
When we opened the silage bag, we were so pleased with the quality! I will be sending a sample of silage into a lab for feed analysis.

The silage will be fed along with rolled corn and grass hay. With a tractor, we scooped up a few loader buckets full of silage and dropped it into one of our SI Feeders wagons. It did not take long for the calves to figure out silage tasted good. The wagon was barely in the lot before it was surrounded by happy calves.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

fall forage for grazing: week 10

It is now week 10!

A herd of cows is now grazing a field of turnips, rye, and oats in the harvest corn field. I was really excited to cows open the pasture gate for the herd to graze. So the cows were ready to graze the lush field, we set out high magnesium blocks for the herds.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

farm chick favorite

* home *

texas + illinois
These adorable baseball caps are from Pink Armadillos! I ordered custom caps for my cattle chick friend and I. The baseball caps are black and tan. And, I chose turquoise glitter for our states... Texas + Illinois. I am in love with them! And am sure she will enjoy it too!

Friday, November 4, 2016

Friday on the Farm

Turnips, rye, and oats were seeded eight weeks ago. Next week, a herd of cows will start grazing the fall forage.
It has been so much fun watching the seeded fields grow over the eight weeks. The turnips have been quickly growing since the corn was harvested. We have had rain and warm temperatures as perfect growing conditions.

[ agriculture photos @ monicastevens.photoshelter.com ]

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

fall forage for grazing: week 8

It is week 8! And, I am checking in from the field...

The turnips, rye, and oats have quickly grown since the corn has been harvested.

The herd of cows on the farm where I live will be turned out to graze on the turnips, rye, and oats next week. I am excited to see them graze!

Friday, October 21, 2016

weaning vaccination program

weaning health program
We are weaning calves on Saturday. So, we have been very busy preparing this week...barn and lot cleaned, barn bedded with wood chips, hay in the lot, scales ready to weigh calves, corn and oats available, protein ordered, and vaccines picked up from our veterinarian. 
I spoke with our veterinarian earlier this week about our health program for calves at weaning. We discussed in length about our weaning health program. After chatting with Dr Baird, I ordered product to vaccinate our calves. Over the past 30 years, we have developed a great herd health program with our veterinarian. Throughout the year, we vaccinate our cows and calves to prevent disease and sickness.
Our calves will receive four shots when we run them through the cattle chute:
2cc BoviShield Gold
2cc 20/20 Vision 7
4cc Vitamin ADE
8cc Penicillin
Our weaning health program costs $7 per calf. This program will ensure us that our calves will remain healthy.    

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

fall forage for grazing: week 6

It is week #6 in the field!

It has been six weeks since the fields were aerial seeded with turnips, rye, and oats. I have very much enjoyed watching the seeding grow by each week. It has been so amazing! Every time I drive by the seeded fields, I smile. The fall forage is beautiful!


We finished harvesting corn early Monday evening! When we finished harvesting corn on the acres seeded with turnips, rye, and oats, it let us fully see the seeding. Amazing!

It is unbelievable how quickly the seeding grew after the corn was harvested. We had sunny, warm weather that was perfect for the turnips, rye, and oats to rapidly grow. From a distance, you can now see the corn fields turning green.    

It will not be long before the corn residue will be covered by the fall forage. Our cow herds will soon be grazing the luscious fields of turnips, rye, and oats!

corn residue rests along the turnips, rye, and oats

Friday, October 14, 2016

Friday on the Farm

turnips, rye, and oats in corn residue
This afternoon, we started harvesting corn in one of the two fields seeded with turnips, rye, and oats. While riding in the Gleaner with my dad, it was so neat viewing the seeding from the combine cab. It was so pretty...emerald green growth among the dried corn field! Corn residue covered the ground with the turnips, rye, and oats were peaking through towards the sun. After riding along in the combine, I continued to haul corn to the grain bin to unload. Cows in the pasture watched as the combine rolled through the field...it is time for them to graze.   

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

checking in on the rye


Six acres of corn were chopped and bagged as silage for our cattle on September 19. The acres that were chopped were then seeded to rye on October 3 to protect the soil from possible erosion.
This morning, we checked in on the rye that was no-till drilled.  It is looking nice! The rye emerged quickly and started growing on these sunny days. It is amazing how much the rye grew in just a couple days. With rain this afternoon, the rye will continue to grow well.

fall forage for grazing: week 5

It is week 5! Here is the report from the field...
Dad and I scouted the fields of turnips, rye and oats this morning. We are both very pleased.
We are saving two corn fields to harvest last that were seeded to allow for further growth of the turnips, rye, and oats.

Sunday, October 9, 2016


Rye is emerging!

As I walked out to the pasture this evening, I decided to scout the field chopped for silage and seeded with rye. On Monday afternoon, we no-till drilled rye for cover over the winter. I was excited to see the rye emerging from the soil. 

63 pounds per acre of rye was seeded over 6 acres. The soil was perfect for seeding that afternoon. And on Wednesday evening, we received 1 3/4 inches of rain.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Friday on the Farm

In the evening, I walked out to the pasture to check cows and fences. On the way, I greatly enjoyed  the sun setting over a corn field where we chopped silage and seeded rye. In the pasture, I spent a little extra time with the cows feeling so blessed. The cool, fall sun was so peaceful. It made my heart smile.
[ agriculture photos @ monicastevens.photoshelter.com ]

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

fall forage for grazing: week 4

It is week 4 since the fields were seeded with turnips, rye, and oats!
The turnips grew their second leaf and measure 5 inches in height. The rye and oats measure 8-10 inches in height.
Weather conditions have been excellent for the seeding. Pretty blessed for nice fields for our cows to graze.

Monday, October 3, 2016

seeding rye

Today we no-till drilled rye into a corn field that was chopped and bagged for silage. Chopping corn for silage uses the entire corn plant. It therefore removes the plant material that would be residue. The lack of residue can leave soil vulnerable. The rye will protect the soil from possible erosion caused by wind or water.

Six acres chopped for silage were planted to rye. Dad used the rate of 63 pounds of rye per acre. The conditions were perfect to seed this afternoon. Weather should be ideal for germination.  

I look forward to seeing the rye grow!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

a day at the ballpark with dad

Eek! I got to check something off my 'greener pastures' list... go to a Chicago Cubs baseball game with my dad! And, I got to take him to his first Cubs game! I was beyond excited to do this!
Since this was my dad's first baseball game, I bought him a shirt to wear. One morning after cattle chores, I walked into my parents' house to find my dad searching for his Cubs baseball cap to wear with his shirt. Pretty cute! It made me smile knowing he was excited about the baseball game.
After morning cattle chores, we boarded the train for Chicago on September 23. Once we arrived at Union Station, dad and I took The L to Wrigley Field. I loved watching dad see Wrigley Field as we approached.   

the friendly confines

We arrived at The Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field! Dad and I enjoyed lunch and a beer outdoors at a restaurant in Wrigleyville before the game. Then, we walked back to the ballpark before the start of the game for a few photos.
dad with ernie banks... mr cub
clark the cub :)

Dad and I had a little fun taking a photo with Clark the Cub outside Wrigley! It is one of my favorite photos from our day at Wrigley.
We had perfect seats. I am so grateful I had the chance to buy the tickets. Dad was elated. He loved the view of the ballpark from our seats. And, I think he soaked up every second at Wrigley Field. It made me smile.
Wrigley was all Cubbie blue. And, the energy in the ballpark was absolutely incredible. I have never experienced a game like it. It was amazing!
Being at a baseball game at Wrigley Field, gives me chills! So much history in this beautiful brick and ivy covered ballpark at Clark and Addison. I am so glad my dad experienced a game at The Friendly Confines...the oldest ballpark in the National League.

I have been a Cubs fan since the 80s. Andre Dawson, Shawon Dunston, Mark Grace, and Ryne Sandburg were players I admired as I grew playing tee-ball and softball...especially Dunston since I played shortstop. 
It was such an amazing day! I LoVe baseball...I am a lifelong fan of the Chicago Cubs...a day at Wrigley Field with my dad...the priceless expression on my dad's face when we walked into the ballpark...singing Take Me out to the Ball Game...the Cubbies won 5-0! PERFECT. 

Cubs win! Cubs win! The Chicago Cubs beat the Saint Louis Cardinals 5-0! What a game! I did not have much of a voice after the game. LOL!
We had a wonderful time! I will always remember the day at Wrigley Field with my dad!
#GoCubsGo    #FlyTheW

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

fall forage for grazing: week 3

It is week 3! I walked into one of the seeded fields this morning. The turnips, rye, and oats are continuing to grow quickly. 

The turnips have been really fun watching grow. They change so much so quickly!  

I am looking forward to checking the seed at week 4!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

corn silage

We chopped corn and bagged it as silage for feed this winter. The silage is additional feed to hay baled this season.
I caught silage in the field and hauled it into the site to be bagged. On my cabless tractor, I got a little silage in my hair. Ha! It is an interesting process to me. I love seeing how quickly the bag fills.
Really nice looking silage to feed! And, it smells wonderful! Our cattle will very much enjoy chowing on it.
We bagged 150' of corn silage. When we feed the silage, we will use the loader tractor to scoop and fill the SI Feeder wagon. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

fall forage for grazing: week 2

It is week two for the seeding! The turnips, rye, and oats are growing very well. I love seeing the change each week. It is pretty exciting!

It is still amazing to me how quickly the fall forage is growing. Rain fell today, so it will keep growing rapidly. I look forward to checking in next week!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

fall forage for grazing: week 1

We had two fields of turnips, rye, and oats aerial seeded in standing corn on September 7. It rained in the evening. So, it was perfect for seed germination.
turnips, rye, and oats

These fields will be future cow chow! Eek! Our cows will be grazing these fields during the fall and winter.
After cattle chores this morning, I decided to check fields since it has been one week since they were seeded. I was absolutely amazed by what I found when walking into a field! I was so excited to have my dad look.
It was very impressive to see the growth of the turnips, rye, and oats seeding in one week! It was incredible! The turnips measured 2-3" in height. And, the rye and oats measured 3-5". So surprising.
I very much look forward to checking the fields next week! It will be interesting to see the growth of the turnips, rye, and oats.