Most famers and ranchers know that the moisture level on your land is one of two things: Too wet, or too dry. This adage is especially true in Florida, where Summer storms hit every afternoon and hurricanes lurk out there in the ocean. We went from too dry and desperately needing some rain, to under water before you could say, “Umbrella, please?” Luckily, we had literally just finished all the work preparing our brand spankin’ new 70 acre reservoir, and instead of the excess rain water flowing to Lake Okeechobee, to then flow into the Indian River, we held onto that moisture in a sort of wet stockpile, to use when times are dry. The icing on the cake of our exciting new addition to our ranch is that this body of water is now home already to three different species of ducks, some herons, and other types of water birds. Fish like Bass and Bream have most likely already made their way to it’s depths, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if an American Alligator slipped in with deep satisfaction, no longer restricted to the large and deep ditches that surround and intersect the property. Turtles of the soft and hard shell variety will follow close behind, frogs, and maybe even some of my favorite animal: Otters. Can you tell we are a little excited about our new reservoir? It will be not only incredibly beneficial to our efforts as farmers, but to the wildlife in the area as well. This symbiotic relationship with the land is what farmers and ranchers enjoy most.
Unfortunately, the massive amounts of rainfall is preventing us from putting up hay and harvesting sod. We have been able to cut in our Floratam fields, but our Argentine Bahia is just too wet. So we wait, somewhat impatiently, to be able to complete the work.
We have, however, been able to check our cattle to ensure that they are pregnant. Our veterinarian has been coming out as the herds are gathered and brought to the pens. He then “preg checks” each cow, and the results are recorded. Any “open”, or not pregnant cows, are noted and this way we are able to keep close tabs on how our bulls are preforming and our cattle’s fertility. The positive numbers are extremely high this year, and we are all thrilled. It’s been an incredibly successful “breed back” year at Willaway Cattle Company! This means that not only are our bulls healthy, but our cows are, too, and that is something to celebrate. It also means that we will have a larger pool to choose our “keeper” heifers from, which will increase the quality of our herds. So, despite the deluge rains, there is always something to be thankful for on a farm or a ranch!
These gals say, "Hey! Get out there and cut our hay, already!"
Would you like to read more about the ranch and farm where we grow the sod? Visit our new website! www.willawaycattleandsod.com