High Grove Farm Journal – August 2023
Sep 07, 2023 (Westby, WI)
By Jessica Rogers
Welcome back to a month in the life on our small Wisconsin dairy farm! August has been a very hot and dry month full of hard work and struggles, but there were many beautiful, cooler and rewarding days in there as well. I am Jessica Rogers, and once a month I share what’s happened on the farm over the past several weeks. We live in a big white farmhouse on a ridge above the small town of Soldiers Grove, Wis. where my husband Drew and our three children, Carter, Caleb and Laney, all work together milking about 50 cows.
This month started out with hot days and cool nights that resulted in hazy mornings while we brought the cows in to be milked. We milk cows at 5:15 a.m. each morning, so we have to go get them off their pasture, put down feed in the barn and get them in the barn to start on time. As the mornings get darker, it’s getting harder to stay on that schedule!
Drew spent most of the month harvesting crops and working on equipment before and after harvest. A first crop of late planted Sorgum Sudan was cut and bagged at the beginning of the month, and the second crop was cut, baled and wrapped at the end of the month. We baled third crop alfalfa and are cutting fourth crop right now after harvesting all the corn this last weekend. We popped a tire on the skid steer earlier in the month but made it through the rest of those harvests without a breakdown. That was until Carter was cutting hay the day after corn harvest and blew an oil line on the 4440 John Deere tractor. After looking, Drew found a bracket missing that was supposed to be holding that line steady. It must have wiggled too much and broke loose.
Corn harvest is a hot, dusty job and always a long day’s work in between milkings. We chopped and filled our silo with corn silage with the help of our close friend Brody on the first day, and Drew and Carter filled a bag the second day. We’re so thankful that everything went well, except for one mishap. The big pipe that runs up the side of the silo to fill it from the top had been bumped and broke off its bracket. That pipe gave us some fits, but we did what any good farmer would do in a pinch and used Gorilla tape to fix it.
Having all the corn harvested and feed at the ready feels so good. The cows have REALLY enjoyed eating some of the leftover silage when they come in to be milked. It’s also nice that the weather has cooled off a little now – and let me tell you – that makes such a big difference for cows. The high heat and humidity is very hard on them.
As fall comes to our area, we’re excited for cool weather, yummy comfort food and fair time. Thanks for visiting the farm and we hope all the farmers have a safe and bountiful harvest!
-Jessica Rogers is a Westby Creamery farmer-owner who is sharing glimpses of farm life with us.
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