Letter to Dave

Dear Dave,

I started this letter at about four in the morning. This is the nice, quiet time of the day when I can drink some coffee, watch my agriculture shows and center myself among the cats. The only difference to this particular morning is I am writing this letter and watching “Dancing with Wolves”-both good additions to my morning.
I have plowed snow once this winter and blown out the yard twice. I think most winters I would have been to make this same statement by the end of November. I like this life though, I told Lisa we are like city people living in the country. We read books, watch movies and go to work which seems pretty tame when compared to past winters which were busy enough to keep me to about four hours of sleep.
You will find attached to this letter a few pictures of an odd looking trailer. hay unrollerThat trailer is part of my need pasture-planting system. It is a bale unroller. I spent much of the winter looking at ways to unroll bales of hay to feed cattle on our pasture. This is a strange statement which begs questions such as “why feed hay on pasture?” or “what does unrolling a hay bale have to do with placing grass seed into standing pasture?” Good questions, Dave.
Sometimes I need to keep cattle on hay late in the season while the grass grows up and prepares itself for winter. I don’t allow the cattle on pasture during this time and feeding hay is one way to satisfy this need. Now, as long as the cattle are eating hay while they await fall pasture, they might as well work some seed into the ground. I plan to spin-spread some pasture mix out on the ground before I roll the hay out. hay unroller twoThe action of cattle hooves on the seed will be to create good seed to soil contact. Unrolling the hay in long rows allows me to control where the cattle will spend most of their time so I can make sure they uniformly step on as much seed as possible. Unrolling the hay also creates long rows so all animals can eat with reduced competition.
It is so close to spring, Dave. There was an early spring somewhere in the late 90’s because I remember finishing my fencing by mid-March. I believe this one is even earlier. The awful fact is that we could still get a lot of snow in short amount of time however I don’t believe it will stay long. Anyway, not much we can do about the weather except talk about it.
Jamie and I hopefully will arrive in Carrington about the same time as you are reading this letter, Dave. I think we will both be ready for some good agriculture talk and a trip around the implement lot. We plan to celebrate Lisa’s birthday Saturday night so it will be a quick visit. We could bring Lisa along however it might be uncomfortable for our cats to explain to those who come to celebrate Lisa’s birthday that she is not home. Tell everyone….ah, I can tell them myself when I get there.
Your little bro’

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