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Wind
Advisor

18 below zero in wheat county!!

 SW Kansas had -18* this morning.  Not familiar with wheat, but I would think I would be concerned about Winter kill?

Calves are also "hitting the ground" at a fast pace.  I would think that would be a shock too!

Looks to warm up later this week.

Here in Iowa, -13* last night-to be-20* to-night. 

9 Replies
RJG640v8
Senior Contributor

Re: 18 below zero in wheat county!!


@Wind wrote:

 SW Kansas had -18* this morning.  Not familiar with wheat, but I would think I would be concerned about Winter kill?

Calves are also "hitting the ground" at a fast pace.  I would think that would be a shock too!

Looks to warm up later this week.

Here in Iowa, -13* last night-to be-20* to-night. 


I've never really had major winter wheat winterkill here in southern WI.... been my experience that the stuff is very hard to kill ,  with anything. I guess though , maybe down there in lighter soils and maybe no snow cover it could be different...???...  Calving would be difficult not being set up for cold weather calving.  They are pretty resilient little buggers though.  Big thing would be to get them dried off and make sure their core temperature doesn't get low. Get some warm colostrum into them, 3 ft of bedding... , into the house for some !  Balmy 30's here by the weekend.

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BA Deere
Honored Advisor

Re: 18 below zero in wheat county!!

RJG, if you can make February calving work and be happy about it, my hat is off to you Smiley Happy     In my experience 3 out of 5 years Feb calving works good and they could be born out of the wind outside. But 2 out of the 5 years where you have to keep them shut in for prolonged periods and bedded, the 10 ft ceiling turns into a 6 foot ceiling pretty quick  Smiley Happy   Then if you aren`t right there, the calf can get trampled...God help you if the stupid heifer doesn`t claim the calf. 

If you have enough cows inside for body heat, when it`s this cold still a unheated water tub will eventually  freeze solid.  And a calf will get stubborn, stiffen up the front legs and develop a case of "lockjaw"  `Tube the little  #*^@$$er!`.  Advantage no flies  Smiley Happy  Sometimes a calf is a few days old in the cold seemingly doin` good and he sits outside in the Sun..."ok good" check again, warm mouth,  5,6 hrs later still sitting there and he`s in trouble, the damn cold got to him and the mama wasn`t giving enough milk.  In may it wouldn`t have been an issue.

But I`ve see it before at a salebarn  6 weight calves bring $1.50 and 300lb calves bring $3.00/lb so big or small $900 per feeder.  The cow/calf guy has to be thinking "why am I taking 600 pounders here, again?" 

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RJG640v8
Senior Contributor

Re: 18 below zero in wheat county!!

We calve from late December (Hfrs) to late March. I also have about 100 that calve late August and September.  I have had really good luck, but luck is made and bought. To do so I have put up buildings. Cattle is a business for me and a hobby and passion as well. So, I spend money to do it the way I want to do it. I like the control it affords me , band  em tag em and give shots right away and on my terms.  I essentially live with the cattle that whole time. This year with the cold snap has been more of a test to be sure.  I don't let them sit much , I get the little buggers up and moving often , helps to generate their heat and stimulates them to eat which also stimulates the metabolism and heat. Seems like the more they eat the more they want to eat and the more they keep moving around. Another big consideration  is the wind , keep them out of the wind. Mud and wet conditions are worse in my book. As well as the variable temperatures that come later in the season. It's harder on them as calves to have a day of 50 or 60 and then drops down to 10 and back up to 40 ...  

One thing to know if you are selling calves....... it all starts with having live calves to sell. What works for me doesn't work for all and vice versa.

 

The only thing I sell at the sale barn are cull Bulls.  I feed a bunch out myself , have my Meat sales deals and sell most of the male feeders to the same guys that  have been buying and feeding them out for many years now.  I also have a good market for female replacements that a few guys like to get from me , so the bigger thing for me is having a diverse set of customers and options. 

 

In the end it's all in the approach and the attitude and the I can do it mindset. I love competition and to compete. I finally gave up MMA bouts due to Covid, so I now look at what I do as the competition to compete in and win at. Evan though it was always going on. 

 

clayton58
Veteran Advisor

Re: 18 below zero in wheat county!!

Back to the wheat thingy,  We were only -13 this morning.  I don't know about other parts of western KS, but here we had 2-3 inches of snow, out of the 10-12 that was predicted.  The good news is that the snow seems to have stayed on the fields, so I'm optimistic that (most) wheat will make it through without much damage.  I guess we'll see tonight or tomorrow when the BOT reumes trade.  I may have a second opinion thrown at me

BA Deere
Honored Advisor

Re: 18 below zero in wheat county!!

Clayton, wheat`s up 12   Smiley Happy

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clayton58
Veteran Advisor

Re: 18 below zero in wheat county!!

Guess that’s our second opinion 

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Hobbyfarmer
Honored Advisor

Re: 18 below zero in wheat county!!

17° below zero this am.

House furnace quit

Shop propane tank froze up and about empty.

Can see more than 100 wind turbines from my mailbox NOT ONE of them is turning. No wind.

Heat back on on both   buildongs

The turbines take electricity whether they are running or not so record cold and the green energy thingies are exacerbating the stuation.

Need a switch to shut off power to the greenies homes first.

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sw363535
Honored Advisor

Re: 18 below zero in wheat county!!

It was 19 below two counties west of you that morning.

I had a new experience that morning..... Saturday or Sunday.   Went to water cows on wheat and corn stoaks...... our

5 inches of snow which had been on the wheat for two weeks had disappeared....... at well below 0 temps.....cows were scattered on green wheat.... by Monday morning we had skinny snow buy nothing that would accumulate.  Roads stayed fairly clear....... By Monday morning two inches of it came back..... 

I took the "call a friend" option on my phone and my engineering man of experience friend from Iowa... said quickly 

Sublimation ------ the process of a solid passing directly to a gas without using the liquid state.  It was sublimely entertaining between teeth chattering.... Never seen that before in this part of the world...... And he told me to check the humidity.   We were at 0 temps and 70% humidity...... by the that evening we had low flying geese heading south.

Always something new to learn..... 

Cant imagine Dallas Fort Worth at single digits and snow and electricity out..... they hardly bury pipes there.

Even here the trucks just parked wherever they could.   Emergency help like tires and mechanic and fuel delivery folks locked up and went home here in the panhandle

Thanks for the lessons Hobby!

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lsc76cat
Veteran Advisor

Re: 18 below zero in wheat county!!

Grandma taught us to always hang clothes on the line in the winter.

Even if they froze (along with your fingers) they would continue to dry due to the low humidity.

Carry them inside after a few hours and put them on the radiators.

Would thaw out and be completely dry in no time.

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