Frosted…

 

I’m missing the freezing fog this week.  We are experience extremely cold temperatures here this week.  Tonight’s low is suppose be -10 F with wind-chills bringing the temps down to -20 to -30 degrees F.  Wishing it was a bit warmer like it was in these pictures…

 

IMG_8327 IMG_8338 IMG_8517 IMG_8521 IMG_8387 P1120047 P1120049 IMG_8464 IMG_8403

 

Did I mention we have a handful of Suffolk ewes due any day now?  Hopefully they got the memo on not delivering in this cold.  Brrrrrr….

 

Linking up with friends at:

NatureFootstep

Macro Monday

Shine the Divine

Shearing…

Have I ever mentioned how fortunate we are to have a brother who is a Shearer?  Tis that time of year again for our lil’ flock to have their spring haircut and Jason just graciously brings all of his shearing stuff over and spends the afternoon with us.  Last fall between work schedules and hunting we were unable to get shearing in, so by this spring the sheep had grown a tremendous coat… 

Their long wool coats…

Most of the pictures that I took ended up being fuzzy, the barn is sort of dark with lots of motion and I dared not use a flash to encourage the sheep to jump any more than they all ready were while being trimmed!  Apparently Icelandic’s are unlike most sheep and try to fight the Shearer instead of just sitting back, relaxing and enjoying the trim.  They are constantly kicking and slipping out of position~which Jason handles amazingly well. 

Another look at the group.

 It always amazes me to see how easy he manages to make it look.  It’s like peeling a banana…with a bit more fuzz!  Shearing was a bit more difficult this time as the sheep were starting their natural wool break (where they naturally start to shed their wool).  Jason would be able to zoom through a sheep that had not started in their wool break and then on another that had  started it, it was like the shearing piece would just get bogged down.  Despite the ornery sheep and wool break, Jason did an amazing job! 

Shearing a lamb…

  

  

Shearing a ram lamb...

 

Jason shearing a ewe...

 

Jason did a great job of shearing our flock.  Thanks again!  We sure had a fun afternoon watching you do your thing.  

  

Hay Production…

Here’s my hubby from the front page of  The Daily Interlake….

 

Dry conditions cut hay yields

/Daily Inter Lake By LYNNETTE HINTZE/

Daily Inter Lake Published: Tuesday, July 21, 2009 11:17 PM CDT

 Below-normal precipitation in the Flathead Valley took a toll on the first cutting of dryland hay with lower-than-normal yields. “Dryland hay was highly variable, from virtually none to about 1 1/2 tons per acre,” said Markus Braaten, a Kalispell field agronomist for CHS. Some West Valley farmers didn’t make a first cutting at all because of the poor yield. “On average, production is down from last year, with not much appreciable rain to push the yield on the first cut,” Braaten said. Irrigated hayland fared much better, with roughly 2 1/2 to 3 tons per acre. That’s still somewhat below the average of about 4 tons per acre. The heavy rainfall that produced up to 2 inches of precipitation in some areas of the Flathead on July 13 came too late to make a difference for the first cutting and in fact damaged a “fair portion” of hay that was down when the rain came, Braaten said. He advised buyers to check quality of hay that was rain-laden before it was harvested. Dryland hay harvest is still under way in the North Valley, where fields in the Voerman Road area were cut after the heavy rainfall. “There has been some insect pressure from weevils and hoppers’ throughout the valley, Braaten added. As for a second cutting, there may not be much of a harvest unless the valley gets some significant rainfall, he said. Last year, 33,700 tons of hay were harvested on 14,500 acres in Flathead County, with an average yield of 2.32 tons per acre. Irrigated hayland yielded an average of 3.32 tons per acre last year, while dryland hay was 1.8 tons per acre, according to the National Agriculture Statistics Service. In 2007, hay production was substantially higher in the Flathead, with 26,500 acres harvested and a total production of 67,000 tons. With reduced yields this year, prices could be higher, Braaten said. “With prices it’s hard to get folks to commit, but I’m hearing $130 to $150 per ton,” he said. “It could be a bit higher with the reduced yield.” Features editor Lynnette Hintze may be reached at 758-4421 or by e-mail at lhintze@dailyinterlake.com Copyright © 2009 – Northwest Montana Daily Inter Lake

 

Markus...