Working cattle and getting ready for haying – The Webb Family

Clayton Webb is in the process of getting his commercial helicopter pilot license.

Clayton Webb is in the process of getting his commercial helicopter pilot license.

April is here and we’ve been blessed with some good moisture this spring. Things are greening up and we are getting busy.  We worked our first set of calves on one of our herds of momma cows the other day and will continue working them a herd at a time in hopes of finishing up by the end of the month.  This is the first time they have been worked since being born.   We brand and vaccinate them for several diseases, de-horn any that might have horns, castrate the bull calves, and deworm and start fly control on them in the form of ear tags treated with a fly killer.   When we wean them in several months, we will re-vaccinate them and deworm them again.

Removing cedars from pastureland.

Removing cedars from pastureland.

We have also been getting our hay equipment ready to go.  We’ll start laying down wheat for hay in a few weeks so we’ll want our swather, rake, and balers in top condition.  With the rains we’ve received, it looks like we will have a good hay crop.  The past two years of extreme drought have kept our hay supply on the low side.  Our biggest priority this spring and summer will be building up an ample supply of hay for the coming winter and trying to put up enough hay to establish a good carryover into the next year.  We began fertilizing and applying weed killer to our Bermuda grass pastures, and we’ll apply weed and brush control chemicals on our native grass pastures in a few weeks.

Clayton uses a helicopter to check the farm from the air.

Clayton uses a helicopter to check the farm from the air.

Clayton passed his test in March and now has his private helicopter license. He is pursuing a commercial license and hopes to get it accomplished in the next few months.  Having a helicopter in our farming and ranching operation has proven quite beneficial.  He regularly checks pastures, cattle, and fences from the air, greatly reducing the hours spent on those jobs.  He has also been scouting our wheat fields for any problems they might incur.  He has put in a good bit of time cutting and stacking cedars in pastures this spring too.  Some has been custom work for other land owners and some in our own pastures.  The cedars are quite a problem and will take over a pasture without a good management program.  Not only do cedars rob the pasture of precious ground water, but they are also an extreme fire hazard in the heat of the summer as well as in the dry of winter.

Baseball season is winding down, and son Wade is anxious to start back on the farm.

Baseball season is winding down, and son Wade is anxious to start back on the farm.

Wade is winding down his baseball season.   He really enjoys playing.  He pitches, catches, and plays second base.  His team is in a tournament at Ringwood this week.  He is anxious for school to wrap up so he can start working.  He has spearheaded a lot of spring cleaning work around the farm.  It is always nice to get things back to a clean and organized state.

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