Friday, November 9, 2012

Time To Change The Sheets

It's time to change the sheets. No it's not laundry day. I'm talking about our cows bedding. Our goal is to "change their sheets" frequently so our cows are clean and dry, which helps keep them healthy. We provide our animals with comfortable beds to encourage resting so they can concentrate on producing that milk we love! 

Each bale is about 4 feet tall and weighs about 500 pounds.
Besides using straw (the stalk of the oat plant) for bedding, we also use corn stalks. This is what is left in the field after the corn is removed. The stalks do well at absorbing moisture and they are readily available. Even after baling the corn stalks, this process still leaves behind plenty of crop residue in the fields to protect and enhance the soil. The residue provides cover which aides in preventing erosion and adds to the soil's organic matter. And when the "sheets" get soiled, the mix of stalks and manure is again returned to the field, to enrich the soil for the next crop. 
Sara poses among some of the 900 stalk bales ready for bedding.

To see what else farmers do to utilize our resources, visit Dairy Farming Today 

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