Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Cattle Prefer Salad

 The cattle think that Spring has arrived and Winter is over.
 They have been turned out to fresh green pastures.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Little do they know what lies ahead. 
When I walked into the barley field, I disturbed their peace. 
The barley that has sprouted are from light, thin kernels that are blown out of the combine with the chaff. They never make it to the hopper of the combine to become part of the crop, because of their light weight. 
We call them "fines." The narrow kernels are viable to sprout, but not desirable in the crop. 
 The kernels fall to the ground where they sprout after harvest. Following a pass with the Salford RTS, the barley serves as a self planted cover crop.
We like barley as a cover crop to catch Winter snow on the surface. 
 The barley roots hold the soil in place to keep it from drifting when the wind is blowing fiercely.
Moe, Larry and Curly lined up along the fence. Reminds me of my three brothers back in the old days. 
The fresh green of the sprouted barley is like a special salad, served as dessert before heading into a period where all you eat is trail mix. Nuts and dried fruit, which for cattle are hay and feed, are fine, but most of us would like a little fresh salad.
The pastures are depleted and preparing from dormancy, fresh greens are in short supply on the Northern Plains. 
Noses down, continuously eating as they stroll, the cattle realize that the fresh green is a special treat. 
For me the treat is seeing the green color on the ground, and the fresh scent of new growth in the air. 
It inspires although I realize the long hard freeze is just around the corner. 
As we wait with the herd in GriggsDakota.

4 comments:

  1. LOVE you guys....

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  2. These photos are beautiful. What gorgeous light you captured!

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  3. It is like reading the next chapter in a very good book everyday...

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  4. Thanks Lana and all for your encouragement. Much appreciated by both of us.

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