The 40 acres was primarily used as pasture and had an old farm house, corn crib, dilapidated chicken and farrowing house, several small sheds, and a small pond. Currently, we converted the pasture into corn/bean/oats/hay rotation. Over the years Jake has slowly been transforming the farm stead back into an up-to-date farming operation headquarters.
We have currently rebuilt the chicken cope, constructed an erosion control dike with EQUIP help, remodeled the corn crib into a barn with heifer calving pens, tore down the small sheds, built a hay shed/cattle shelter, and trenched in new water lines. Future plans for the farm include new lot fences, cattle coral and working facilities, small grain bin, a machine shed/work shop, and remodel the house. Even though not all of our updating goals have been achieved we are still able to farrow our few sows, keep free range laying hens, and finish out our livestock for consumption on our farm.
All the acres are primarily No-Till planted. Jake’s father has spent many years building terraces, establishing waterways and buffer strips, and tiling to prevent erosion on these acres. Jake continues the same practices on these acres. The corn we grow on these acres is Non-GMO corn. We would like to plant Non-GMO soybeans, however, we have certain weeds that have been controlled the best with glyphosate resistant soybeans.
The biggest determining factor for moving the cows home for the winter is when the water source freezes up. We are generally are able to move the cows to pasture the beginning of April to start calving and we bring them home around December. We have the pasture split into 6 different paddocks. We rotate the cows between 5 of the paddocks and some years make hay off of one. Having functional efficient cows with grass-based genetics, utilizing rotational grazing, and fertilizing has enabled us to increase our stocking density and better utilize the pasture acres we rent.