These are two of the main hats I wear. Two of the main hats my family wears.
Most of the year, the puzzle pieces slide together like they are meant to be. Running cows and raising crops, working together.
My dad talks about how his grandpa spoke about “having your corn walk onto a truck instead of shoveling it.” Feeding cattle with inputs we’ve raised adds value to both the cattle and the crop.
After the growing season is over, our cattle graze field residue on fields that otherwise would have sat idle.
There are so many times that cattle and crops work well together. We’ve adjusted how we operate to help it flow smoothly.
Our calves are weaned early so our cows can all go to fall pasture while we harvest grain. Once we ultrasound cows next week we will be able to give more of our focus to the crop side of the operation. Then after harvest we will fall graze until we start feeding for the winter.
We time our calving to be late enough that our cows can calve on a field without a barn and tight enough that we can be in the second heat cycle by the time we hit the field.
It’s a juggle we are always working on and honestly some days it would be
to only have one main focus. To night have the farm be split so equally on cows and crops. Or in that breath to have more people to help run both plus the feedlot, plus the feed business, plus Kyle’s fencing supply company, plus our houses.
That’s the constant dance in agriculture and small business. Finding the balance, adding value, running the margins, mitigating the risk and adjusting to countless factors that continue to move quickly.