Cow Comfort Process at Meyer Dairy

I put together a video blog on how we use recycled manure solids for bedding on our farm. This video was done for the AgStar Edge Women in Agriculture Blog.

Check out the video here.

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Harvesting Corn Silage – 2013

I am very fortunate to be a contributing blogger for AgStar’s Women in Ag Blog. We recently finished harvesting our corn silage for 2013. Check out this video to see how we harvested the 160 acres of corn, packed the corn silage into a pile and then covered the entire pile with an oxygen barrier and plastic. The final step is covering the whole 85′ by 300′ pile with tires. The tires are recycled side walls from semi-trucks. Corn silage is one of the main ingredients in our cow’s diet.

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Taking the silos down

This summer we removed three of our four silos. They haven’t been used for several years because we have our haylage, corn silage and high moisture corn stored in bags and in piles which makes feeding at our farm more efficient. Since they are no  longer needed we had a silo removal crew come in and take them down piece by piece. The smallest silo was still in good condition, so the majority of the silo was salvaged and used for other’s that were putting up a silo. Many of the silo staves were used for landscaping at our neighbors and we’ve kept some staves for future landscaping and other uses on our farm.

all 3

The before picture of all three silos. The room that connected the three silos was taken down first.

Taking down the first silo. The crew had scaffolding inside the silo and dropped each stave onto a pile of sand on the ground so the staves wouldn't crack or break.

Taking down the first silo. The crew had scaffolding inside the silo and dropped each stave onto a pile of sand on the ground so the staves wouldn’t crack or break.

Another view of the first silo being taken down.

Another view of the first silo being taken down.

taking 2nd down

Starting to take down the second silo.

taking 3rd down

The third silo is almost down.

all 3 down

The remnants of the silos.

hauling cement away

After the silos were down, The unused staves were hauled to a local cement plant to be crushed.

all cleaned up

The area all cleaned up.

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Straw arrives

We use straw as a fiber source in our cows and heifers’ diets. It is also used for bedding for the calves. Straw is the stalk portion of small grains, like oats, barley and wheat. Most of the straw we use is wheat straw. This evening our supplier from Canada arrived with a load of straw. Nick unloaded it and stored all the straw in the shed, as rain is predicted. Right now one load of straw will last us about three weeks.

Load of straw is ready to unload.

Load of straw is ready to unload.

Nick uses the Bobcat to unload all the big squares of straw.

Nick uses the Bobcat to unload all the big squares of straw.

All the straw is stacked in our shed to keep it dry until we are ready to use it.

All the straw is stacked in our shed to keep it dry until we are ready to use it.

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Black Lab Puppy

Smudge is our little Black Laby puppy.

Smudge is our little Black Lab puppy.

She follows us everywhere on the farm.

She follows us everywhere on the farm.

She loves to play with the kids.

She loves to play with the kids.

The kids helped build her dog house, and decided they liked it in there too!

The kids helped build her dog house, and decided they liked it in there too!

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April Snowstorm

This is the view out our front door this morning. Schools are closed today. The cows are milked, calves are fed, employees’ vehicles are unstuck. We’ll be hiding in the house until it’s time for afternoon chores to begin.

069_wm

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Basement Toy Organizer

A friend of ours had some great shelving units in her house to organize toys and many other things. I admired how well it worked in their house and knew someday we’d do the same in our house. We recently finished off our basement and our children’s toys had taken over the floor space. So we got this Expedit Shelving Unit from Ikea. Nick assembled it and secured it to the wall. I ordered some storage cubes and other organizers from a friend, who is a Thirty-One consultant. The storage cubes are nice because there is a window so you can see which toys are in the cube. We put legos in one, the play food toys in another. Now we are able to get most of the toys off the floor and into the storage unit. The kids can see which toys they want to play with, and our son enjoys parking his tractors in the “shed” on the bottom row of the unit when he’s done playing.

This is what the finished project looks like.

This is what the finished project looks like.

(Ikea didn’t compensate me for this blog post. I just really like being able the see the floor when we pick up now!)

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