We have been up to many things since I have blogged last. Summer time on the ranch is a very busy time filled with many different jobs. Like I last blogged about one of the main jobs is silaging and haying. This is very important to have feed during the winter months to feed our animals. Since we switched to silaging we still put up some dry hay to mix in with our silage to add some more dry matter to the cow’s ration. This year we put up 160 round bales and have 272 loads of silage in the pit and that equals 1632 tonnes.
The next thing we are busy with in the summer is moving cows on the range. We have 100 000 acres of crown range tenure that we have to take care of and ensure our cows are not over grazing. To do this we move them to different areas of the range. It is also important we are out on the range often to see where our cows are and to make sure as much as we can that everything is fine (no predator or people problems) . A major freeway, The Coquihalla cuts right through the middle of our range, so that causes some grief we have to go out there and make sure the fences are up and gates are shut.
The next component of our summer work is irrigating. We actually hire this job out because it takes about 5-6 hours every day, so if we have to irrigate we don’t have much time left in a day to ride or silage. However, this is a very difficult position to fill and this year we have went through 3 different irrigators, so we are spending a lot of our time moving irrigation pipes. Everyday we have to move lines, so the water gets over the entire field. Some of our lines are wheel lines, so there is a little engine on the mover and we roll the entire line 4 rolls which equals 60 feet, so everyday the lines get moved 60 feet. We cannot run all our irrigation at once because according to our water licence we can only pump so much water, so there has to be a system of which lines are running and which ones need to start next. Some of our lines our hand lines, so we have to manually move each pipe which is 40 feet in length and move in over 60 feet to ensure the entire field gets water. We like to refer to irrigation as irritation because it can be a pain, but it is essential without water and irrigation we wouldn’t be able to grow any crops in our area of BC!
Lastly, I also just got back from the inaugural Canadian Beef Industry Conference in Calgary! It was such a great conference and I learned so much, so stay tuned for an update about that!!! So that is a little snap shot of what we have been up to!!!!