Tuesday Catchup: Heat, Hay, Bulls

Wishin’ I was Waist deep in the grass somewhere, got the blue sky, breeze and it don’t seem fair. The only worry in the world is a calf gonna hide in there. Sunrise, there’s a fire in the sky, never been so happy, never felt so high. I think I might’ve found me my own kind of paradise.

My version of the Zac Brown song that was going through my mind Monday morning as I was driving the 4wheeler through the river bottoms, checking cows. The grass is so tall and so thick, I can’t even see the calves jumping around. Shoot, I reckon if a 1,200 pound cow decided to lay down, she could hide from me. Hay season is in full swing and we’re almost half-way through the first cutting. I’ll be sure to get ya’ll some good video of hay harvest around our place, but I’m trying to wait til second cutting when the pastures look better and I can get it all together at once.

Last week, Spring got bumped out of the Arkansas forecast a month early and August arrived a couple month’s ahead of time. With some of the earliest 100 degree heat on record for our state, the outlook for summer isn’t lookin so great if you were hoping for colder weather (I think I’m on a Zac Brown roll here…). However, it is great weather for hay harvest if we can miss the afternoon popup thunderstorms. The mornings this time of year are awesome. We don’t cool off much more than 72 or 73, there’s a regular morning fog/haze (because our dewpoints stick right around 70 and when the temp meets the dewpoint we get condensing moisture at the surface!). It makes for a wonderful sunrise. Almost as good as if I were in the mountains (not quite!).

The effects of the two-feet of April rains are catching up with us. All the residual mud is making for some sore footed animals. I’ve had a couple of bulls in the last week or two come up with cut and swollen feet. A lil mending time and they could make it back to the cow herd. Instead I am switching them out with our younger bulls, giving them a chance to entertain the ladies. Bulls going bad reminds me of a time when the girlfriend’s parents asked about my morning before driving down to their lake house. I told em I had a bull to get up because he went bad. Well they proceeded to ask what exactly that meant… Haha, I told em straight up without considering they weren’t exactly “farm folk.” I’m not sure who was more embarrassed, them for realizing what they asked, or me for realizing I forgot to use my filter. I hear the story still gets some good laughs around the camp fire.

The rest of the week looks for more of the same: heat, hay, and hopefully a touch of moisture if we can get all the hay off the ground at the right time. What’s going on in your neck of the woods this week?

Be sure to check out the #AgChat convo tonight on twitter (7pm central). Tonight’s discussion is on the topic of food and agriculture blogging. So if you have a blog, like to read em, or were thinking of starting one, I’m sure there will be great information for you. Feel free to just watch the convo and catch up on the material when they post the archives. I suggested this week’s topic, so help show some support and make an appearance.


  1. Haying has started in central Nebraska, we started cutting on Sunday afternoon, and are done cutting for a little while. We have rain in the forcast for the last part of the week. With a little luck we will be wrapping up some bales tonight. But the rain later in the week won’t make us feel to bad about not getting more hay up as we need to have the bulls out with the cows by Saturday. The heifers have been sync’d and the heifer bull has been a busy guy the past week! The corn is all planted, emerged from the ground and the rain later this will be just what it needs. Summer is in Full Swing

  2. Ryan, I really love reading your blog and hearing your stories from Arkansas!! It’s interesting learning about different practices in the south then how we do them in Nebraska!! I am a from eastern Nebraska and we also have cattle and hay ground at my father in-laws about 2 and a half hours west in Central Nebraska and there are even different “seasons” in just that small of a distance away!! Definitely makes things interesting!! We run about 50 hd of crossbred cow calf pairs and have about 10 replacement heifers, just a small herd but plenty to keep us busy!! We were glad to get them all worked and branded and out to pasture about 3 weeks ago and the bulls were very happy to go out the weekend after that!!! We just got a small start on our haying last weekend so now we will be busy pretty much the rest of the summer haying, checking cows and whatever else comes up!! Seems like there’s always something!!!

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