Fall Harvest, as most people in this area understand, it was a very dry summer for the crops. Corn Silage yields were well below average, and we wound up chopping almost all of our corn acres into silage in order to get enough silage for the next 12 months. The last 150 acres were made into High Moisture Corn, but that still means we have a lot of corn and other products to purchase to get us through the year. The one advantage with a dry year is we’ve been able to catch up on all our field work, clean-up some fence rows, and even repair a few waterways.
Fall Manure, our manure pits are almost completely empty. Kudos goes out to Tom and Jason Fry, with a good mixer pump they have been able to stir up the manure in our pivot lagoon and reduce the level of this lagoon to the lowest we’ve seen in a couple of years. Since this is just parlor washup water, and only emptied through our pivots over the years some solids build-up in the bottom of the pit. Five or so years ago we had a company come dredge this lagoon, but this year it looks like we will regain almost 1 million gallons of storage very inexpensively. By the end of this week, we should have zero manure on the facility. Hopefully, we can just keep the pits empty til the snow falls and prepare us for a great spring.
Milk, The Bridgewater Dairy team has been working wonders milking cows and preparing to fill up Oakshade. Since the milk market isn’t exactly where we want to be running another dairy yet, we are just working on efficiency at Bridgewater. We are milking almost 3100 cows 3 times a day, and are still able to keep our Somatic Cell Count level around 160,000. The dairy is operating the best it has since we started operations. We our milk quality is exceptional overall, and with all the extra work getting ready for the new dairy, and summer heat, this is something to be proud of.
All in all a great fall.