Spreading litter, calving and lambing – the Bolen Family

Brent spreading poultry litter.

Brent spreading poultry litter.

This photo is of me spreading poultry litter with a John Deere 7130 premium with a raven Envizio Pro GPS and SmartSteer!

I am spreading it on our winter pasture of MaxQ fescue.  MaxQ has a novel endophyte instead of the natural kind, which causes problems with animal performance.  We have been real pleased with its performance and resilience.

We use the GPS to map fields for our records and to do a better job of getting it spread accurately.  We are required by state and federal law to take soil samples prior to application and apply according to phosphorus loads of the soil.  Most generally, we can apply from 2 to 4 tons per acre annually. Most of our pasture just receives litter every other year and our hay fields annually. On the no-litter years, we only apply commercial nitrogen.  We are also required to sample litter, and the litter generally test 3 to 4 percent on a dry basis of each of the major elements of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium. So a ton of litter has approximately 30 units of N, 30 units of P and 30 units of K.

A day-old calf getting its dinner.

A day-old calf getting its dinner.

We have been extremely busy around here this past week. The sheep are still lambing and the girls are getting prepared for our county spring show and OYE.  Also, our cattle are just starting to calve. We are calving out some heifers and have already had the normal issues that go along with calving heifers. We had one that wouldn’t take her newborn for a day or so, and we had to assist one by pulling. Even with the extra problems, it never gets old seeing new life being born. It reminds us how precious life really is and how big of an honor it is to be a caretaker of God’s creations!

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