Thursday, June 27, 2013

Busy Season on the Ranch

Hey everyone,

It's been way too long since I've wrote last, but this is the busiest time of the year.  Because of the haying, the planting, the welding, the maintenance, etc., I haven't had much free time lately.  Today the record high temperatures have drove me inside for a few hours, so I'll try to catch you all up. 

It has been a very wet spring around here, even for Missouri.  Because of this, the grass has been growing like crazy and the animals are fat and happy.  The downside to all of this rain is that it has made it very difficult to bale hay.  Plus, the ranch experienced a major flood about a month ago, and we are still dealing with the aftermath.  The creek that runs through the ranch is usually just a small trickle of cold, clear, spring water in the summer months, and 6-8 inches in the winter months.  The ranch sits in a huge valley that runs for miles, so all of the run-off from rain storms drain into this creek.  A month ago this area of Missouri had a huge thunderstorm that dumped anywhere for 4 to 8 inches of rain on us.  The ranch got 4, but up the valley to the east, it dumped 8.

It all came as a flash flood, spilling out of the banks of the creek taking out fence lines and bridges along the way.  Our little 5 foot deep creek was raging at 10 feet deep.  Our poor little bridge that leads back to the animals washed out, and just this morning we finally poured the last of the concrete to fixed it so it's usable again. 

Here's what the bridge looked like AFTER the water went down.

The food plots I have mentioned in the past are all planted and producing plenty of forage.  Our deer herd is benefiting big time.

When it was all said and done I had planted 8 acres of forage soybeans, 4 acres of corn, 3 acres of Doc's Sandy Bottom Blend, and an acre of Doc's Premium Clover. 

Here's the forage soybeans shortly after emergence.

One of the corn plots.

Doc's Sandy Bottom Blend.

A month ago, I checked the trail cameras and was happy to see that we have some bucks that are getting a good start on growing their antlers.  It's too early to tell how big these guys will be, but to me the pictures look promising.  With all the good nutrition these deer are getting I can hardly wait to check cameras again in a couple weeks!

Here's a couple samples of what we are seeing on the cameras.  Take a look at the dates on the pictures and we'll keep track on their progress together as the weeks pass.  I'll try to get the pics up right away next month.

I'm looking forward to heading back to Nebraska with my wife and daughter next week to relax with family and friends.  I hope everyone has a safe and happy 4th of July weekend!

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