Monday, April 2
Crops Are Cool: Gnarly Barley
Being that today is Monday, and more than likely you are going back to work after a wild weekend of partying, I feel the need to have an educational post.
Never mind that the previous statement made no sense...I'm suffering from a new house hangover...bear with me.
What do you know about barley?
That it's in alcohol?
That it's a grain?
Barley, for the most part, is pretty darned gnarly and I'lltellyouwhy....
(Gnarly being "cool", "hip", "innnnnn"...)
Barley is cool, because it's cheaper than corn...and corn bygosh is KING!
We are growing barley this year to help take the place of some of the corn in our ration for the cows and calves.
Corn, for the most part, is irreplaceable...
-FULL of energy.
Cows need energy to function, meaning they gotta have it to produce milk, reproduce, and l-i-v-e.
Corn is loaded with nutrients, however it's like gold.
...and we all know gold is expensive.
So, how do us budget-conscious farmers deal with the expense of feeding lots of animals?
...You knew that.
Lots of our commodities(feeds like hominy, soybean meal, distillers grains...by-products) are purchased, however when acreage allows we try and grow as much of our own feed as we can.
Hauling 'aint cheap folks.
Farmers are very good at making the most out of what they have.
Not many fields lay fallow for long.
One crop is planted and harvested, followed by another...and another.
To keep the land healthy, crop rotation is utilized and fertilizers are applied regularly.
There are certain types of crops that thrive in heat, as well as cold weather.
Like rye and wheat, barley is chill. It thrives in cooler weather.
Corn's not that tough.
Kinda like that juice-head at the gym...he may be big and flashy, but you ask him to come work out in the July heat and he crumbles like a house of cards in the wind.
(Just go with it...)
We don't usually grow barley, but since corn has sky-rocketed as far as price goes, we decided to grow it over the winter.
Barley is highly comparable to corn as far as fed nutrients goes.
BUT it's still NOT corn.
You just can't beat the amount of energy those golden kernels have packed in them.
Barely is hearty, and grows all winter long.
Once golden, and dried out it can be combined...(seeds harvested only).
Some farmers may chop the barley when it's green(entire stalk), or combine it for high-moisture barley(seeds harvested before they are dried out).
We will combine it dry and grind it for feed.
"We" being Tim not me...or the mouse in my pocket.
Hopefully by growing this we can cut down on some of our feed expense, and the headache that coordinating feed delivery can cause.
(Remember those occasional "I'm OUT of hominy and the truck driver got lost!!!" come-aparts I have? Yeah, we are trying to avoid those.)
See?! Barley is cool and farming can be fun!
I suppose I have bored you enough this morning, I promise I will tell you alllll about marshmallow hoarding tomorrow...
Have a gnarly day!