We have all been so busy dealing with the effects of three weeks of rain on our normally dry dairies and farms that some days it is difficult to remember what to do next. Very few people understand what a dairy farmer goes through when such a prolonged weather event occurs. After dealing with mastitis and lame cows all day long and wondering whether we will ever get our corn and milo harvested for silage, we begin to worry if we can pump out our run-off ponds, clean our pens and get our manure hauled, get our rutted up cornfields ready to plant and plant our winter crops in time for them to make it safely through the winter. At the same time, we are losing production like crazy due to the storm-induced weariness in our cows.
After all this complaining, it only takes a few days of dry weather, the cows being dry and comfortable, and seeing a new born calf in clean straw born under a bright full moon to make one realize that it is really not that bad!
Now that the rain has stopped, here is a checklist of things we all should work on during the next month:
- MPP – Learn it and make your decisions. It’s not perfect, but it is what we have. DPNM and FSA are putting on seminars for all of us.
- Review your dairy’s Animal Care and Handling Procedures with all your management and workers. Many dairymen have decided to do this. Zoetis is putting on a great training program and DPNM & NMSU Dairy Extension have conducted anti-residue and animal welfare trainings in the past and will be updating these programs all over the state in the very near future.
- VOTE. Educate your friends and workers about the right and duty to vote. The world is run by those who show up! If you do not vote, you cannot complain about the outcome.
- Thank your DPNM staff for their tireless efforts on our behalf!