(Editors' note: Results of PFI 1997 on-farm research will
appear in The Practical Farmer over the course of this year.
We hope this will give readers a chance to absorb these
cooperator reports. This issue focuses on trials of
fertilizer, placement, and manure. Also included is Steve
Weis' report from the first year of hoophouse swine
Deep Banding - One Year Later
Deep placement of potassium and phosphorus fertilizer is a
practice that PFI members have researched for several years.
ISU soil scientist Antonio Mallarino has also been working
on the topic (see The Practical Farmer, Fall, 1997), and
reports that, for producers using no-till and ridge-tillage,
deep placement of potassium fertilizer sometimes gives a
yield response even beyond that of the same fertilizer
surface-applied. In 1997, two cooperators followed up on
deep banding research that they carried out in 1996.
In 1996, both Jeff and Gayle Olson (Mt. Pleasant) and Paul
and Karen Mugge (Sutherland) saw significant corn yield
increases from fertilizer that was deep banded, compared to
no fertilizer at all. Both used a combination of 18-46-0
and 0-0-60, so these were not single-nutrient trials.
However, they applied enough total nitrogen that the crop
should not have been affected by the N in the deep band.
Their question in 1997 was whether the benefit would last
another year. As Table 1 shows, neither Paul Mugge's
soybeans nor Jeff Olson's corn showed a residual fertilizer
effect in 1997.
Livestock Manure - Crop Response and Economics
Two PFI cooperators in western Iowa posed research questions
that apply to the crop nutrient needs on their organic
farms, specifically. Jim and Lynn Boes (Atlantic) and Ken
Rosmann (Harlan) have nearby sources of poultry manure.
They wanted to know if purchasing some of this poultry
manure would be a cost-effective way to import nutrients
into the farming system.
Jim Boes worked with Extension Crops Field Specialist Mike
White to compare purchased poultry manure to no manure at
all. In fact, the entire field had a manure history, from
livestock wintered there and from previous years'
applications. Table 1 shows a 13-bushel average difference
between treatments, but this cannot be taken too seriously,
given the 29.4-bushel LSD from the trial. With no
statistical difference due to purchased manure, the $29 cost
would appear an unnecessary expense. Still, Jim says some
of his soils could really use the phosphorus in the poultry
product. First-year corn might not be the best crop to
receive the purchased manure, at least on fields like this
Ken Rosmann and Extension Crops Field Specialist Richard
DeLoughery set out to compare purchased poultry manure to
beef manure generated on the farm (see page 16 sidebar).
They went to some lengths to monitor the crop's nutrient
status throughout the season, and they factored in all the
associated costs for each type of manure. They observed no
difference in yields between corn receiving beef manure and
corn fertilized with poultry manure, even though the poultry
manure was applied at a higher rate than intended while the
beef manure was applied more lightly than planned.
Dick DeLoughery's report mentions the field variability that
made it difficult to measure the effects of manure
treatments. That variability was also a factor in the trial
of manure and nitrogen rates that Paul and Karen Mugge
(Sutherland) carried out with assistance from Extension
Crops Field Specialist Joel DeJong. They set up this trial
as a "split-plot" experiment. The "main factor" was
nitrogen rate - four different levels of sidedressed N: 0,
40, 80, and 120 lbs per acre. Each main factor plot was
"split" into with-and-without ("") liquid swine manure
injected at the rate of 3,200 gallons per acre in late
April. The late spring soil nitrate test averaged 31 and 20
parts-per-million (ppm) in the manured and unmanured soils,
respectively. Mid-season tissue samples collected by Joel
DeJong confirmed that sidedressing additional nitrogen
increased leaf nitrogen concentration (Table 5).
End-of-season stalk samples also showed the effects both of
manure and of sidedressed N (Table 5 and Figure 3).
So far, everything was fairly predictable, but crop yields
raised new questions. There was the suggestion of a yield
response to the first incremental addition of N, especially
in the unmanured corn. But there was also indication of a
yield reduction at the highest sidedress rate, especially in
the manured corn. Was this just field variability? Both
trends were not statistically significant. Interestingly,
the downturn at high N occurred principally in two
neighboring replications in the middle of the field. Was
there something different in that part of the field? Would
it appear another year? This would seem like pure
speculation, except that ISU scientists also occasionally
observe corn yield reductions at high N rates. They are now
using technologies associated with precision agriculture to
come to grips with the potential phenomenon.
A field's manure history plays a role in its nitrogen
status, a fact now quantified in the ISU recommendations
based on the late spring soil nitrate test. Whereas 25 ppm
nitrate-N is considered sufficient in corn fields with a
row-crop-no-manure history, recent manure use brings that
critical level down by 5-10 ppm. Ron, LaDonna and Steven
Brunk, Eldora, and Tom and Irene Frantzen, New Hampton, both
carried out nitrogen rate comparisons. Both these farms
have plenty of manure, and the late spring soil nitrate
results came back 27 and 28 ppm, respectively, in the two
trials (Table 6). In each trial, as you might expect,
additional sidedress N did not produce a yield response.
Dennis and Kate McLaughlin, Cumming, set out to determine
the best timing for nitrogen application. Dennis's
ridge-till equipment is not set up to sidedress N, so he
would prefer to apply all the crop's nitrogen at one time,
preferably before planting. In this trial he used the local
co-op's anhydrous ammonia applicator to compare preplant
application of 140 lbs N to a split preplant-sidedress rate
of 70 lbs/70 lbs. He also included a few strips of 140 lbs
applied entirely as sidedress.
Dennis noted that the pressure gauge on the applicator was
not a reliable indicator of the rate. With no change in
settings, readings on the gauge varied dramatically from one
trip across the field to the next. After consulting again
with the co-op, Dennis estimated that the preplant N rate
might have been around 136 lbs, and that the split
application probably was really closer to 120 lbs N total
(Table 6). Consequently, there was a bit of an "apples and
oranges" situation, in which yield differences could be due
either (or both) to timing and rates of nitrogen.
The treatment with the preplant application of about 138 lbs
N yielded significantly better than the split application
treatment of around 120 lbs N total (Table 6). However, the
end-of-season stalk nitrate test showed about 70 ppm
nitrate-N in the split application treatment (low), compared
to an average of 415 ppm (marginal) in the preplant N
treatment, which suggests that the crop may have run out of
nitrogen in the split-application strips. This is just the
opposite of what might be expected from a split application,
strengthening the suspicion that the two N rates were not
Given the yield difference, the clear economic advantage
went to the preplant application, but Dennis is left with
questions. He would like to repeat the trial, but is
reluctant to do so unless N rates can be better controlled.
There are regulators on the market that could accomplish
that, but they are not cheap. One clear loser from the
trial was the all-sidedress demonstration strips. Yields
there averaged 20 bushels per acre less than those of the
preplant N treatment and 13 bushels less than in the split
application. This is in line with the observation of many
other ridge-tillers, who compensate for slow soil nutrient
release by adding some nitrogen at planting time.
23^ First Year Experience with Hoophouse Hogs
Steve Weis, Osage
Editors note: Steve and June Weis, Osage, recently
completed a SARE-funded project to document their transition
to swine production in hoophouses. (SARE, the Sustainable
Agriculture Research and Education program of the USDA,
supports producer grants in the North Central Region for
projects like this
one.) The following is extracted from their final SARE
I received a SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research and
Education) grant to look at the differences between our
confinement building and our hoop buildings. This is a
compilation of what I have noted during this past year.
Construction: The three units were built the summer of 1996.
The buildings are from Bio-tech and are each 30 ft. by 72
ft. The company rates them at 200 head each, at 10.8 sq.
ft./head. We don t put that many in each, but instead fill
them with one farrowing room of pigs, either 15 or 18
stalls. Cost of the buildings came to $11,200 per building,
including fill, water, electricity, and fencing. I do not
have an accurate cost on labor since we worked on the
project all summer with different family members at
different times through the summer. I have talked to
several people and would estimate the cost at $2,000-$3,000
per building to have someone else build them for you. At
150 head per building, cost is $75/head, and at 200 head per
building cost is $56 per head.
The cement pad on the south end is 16 feet deep and is
raised 1 feet above dirt level. The cement pad was poured
flat, but I wish I had sloped it in toward the bedding
slightly to get rid of urine, manure, rain, and melted snow.
Some companies recommend sloping the concrete toward the
outside of the building, so that if your waterer breaks, the
water will run outside the building.
Some people never clean off the cement. This probably has a
lot to do with the cement slope and getting the pigs started
right when they come into the hoop. We lock our pigs off
the cement the first 2-3 nights so they don't sleep on the
cement, and also to teach them to dung down in the bedding
area when they get up in the morning. The amount of manure
that has to be scraped off varies a lot. In most cases it
amounts to less than a scoop shovel full. After a rain, it
is usually more and sloppier.
Bedding: I have used large round bales of different types of
bedding including straw, Japanese millet, corn stalks, and
soybean straw. Paper could also be used, but the main idea
is to use bedding that is available to you and is as cheap
as possible. I think it is important to have multiple
bedding in case something happens that you can't get all
your bales baled. (Such as last fall with cornstalks when
it was very wet with an early snow and cold.) Ideally, you
should store your bales inside for best quality. I think
that at a minimum you need to cover your bales to protect
them from rain, snow, and ice. Getting your bedding baled
has to be a top priority; it isn't something you can put off
We've bedded the hoops from both ends, but usually do so
from the north end. We use 2-3 people to bed, since I have
good help from my two boys; one drives the tractor with bale
spear, and two of us move bales in the building. When the
pigs are small, we bed once or twice in the first month,
then once a week for the next 1 months, and then two times
a week until market time. It takes us 5-10 minutes per
bale, depending on the weather. Bedding gets done a lot by
looking ahead at the weather and working around the weather,
especially in the winter. I have used both small (600-700
lb) and large (900-1000 lb) bales. I definitely like the
smaller bales better. You can move them easier and roll
them where you want them. You also need to consider that
the bales will pick up moisture from rain and snow, and from
just sitting on the ground.
Seasonal Changes: We started pigs last December and January
in very cold temperatures and had no trouble at all with
starting the pigs. This is with pigs coming out of a 65
degree grower unit at 65 pounds. Very little snow blew in,
even during blizzards, except for right inside the south
gate, where at the worst a 2 foot high drift formed. The
bedding area, at worst, received a dusting of snow.
Summer heat is a problem, since you need to concern yourself
with the bedding pack giving off heat. In summer the
plywood is taken off both ends, and the north curtain is
raised all the way up. To cope with the heat on 90+ degree
days, I sprayed the manure areas a couple times a day with a
hose and spray nozzle, and also bedded them down more to
insulate them from the heat. Some people put up a mister
inside the building. Still, the pigs were often fighting to
get at the waterer, not so much because they were thirsty,
but because they wanted to lay in the water. A two-hole
waterer put on each side of the cement pad might prove
useful to give the pigs more access to a waterer.
The pigs in the hoops eat more feed than in our confinement
building. This seems to be as much as 1 pound more per day
per pig. We have been adjusting our rations in the hoops.
Except for the heat of the summer, we always run 10% wheat
midds in the ration to bulk up the ration. Last winter we
upped this to 15% after 125 pounds was reached. We are
still adjusting rations, but it looks like we can maybe feed
an even less nutrient-dense ration. Ideally, we think we
can attain the same ADG in the hoops as in confinement and
make the difference in F.E. up by feeding a cheaper ration.
We feel that there is still a lot to be learned yet of
rations and feeding pigs in hoop buildings.
Something I noticed this summer was a possible advantage to
not hauling the raw manure right from the hoops to the
field. Instead we piled it up to self-compost for 3 weeks or
longer. After setting that long, the material has heated up
and broken down some more. By piling the manure you can
avoid hauling during the winter or while you have crops in
the field. You can haul when conditions are right for you.
Odor from the hoops is minimal when there are pigs in them.
If there is an odor, it probably means you aren't using
enough bedding. When the manure is hauled to the field,
there is an odor, but definitely less than when hauling
liquid manure. I thought flies might be more of a problem
with the hoops, but that isn't the case. There was no
difference in flies between the confinement building and the
Production: We tracked production numbers for both the hoops
and the confinement building during the past year (see Table
D). Looking at the umbers, you see probably more of a
disease effect rather than a building effect. We were hit
with PRRS at the start of our study, and that translated
into one very poor set of pigs in both the hoops and the
confinement building. As we have learned how to cope with
PRRS and its side effects, we have gotten better and more
reliable data. ADG was less in our hoops than our
confinement. I expected this to be closer, and it maybe
would have been with better health. FE was poorer in the
hoops as was expected. With higher consumption you need to
compensate by changing the diet fortification and cheapening
the diet. Surprisingly, the backfat and yield percentage
were very close for both buildings. I expected the hoops to
be fatter and lower yielding but that didn't seem to be the
All in all, I think hoop buildings have a place on our farm,
and probably many other small to mid-size farms. They are
versatile, low priced, and low risk. Even if they don t
work out for hogs, they can be used for some other livestock
or for storage of machinery, bedding, or hay. They also may
be revolutionizing the hog industry due to all the versatile
ways you can use them, such as for gestating sows or as a
farrow to finish unit. Our confinement building is very
nice, and we will probably always get better production
numbers from it. On the negative side, there is a high
capital outlay to build what is essentially a single-use
building. Comparing the cost of production between the
buildings is hard. With the confinement building, we have a
higher capital cost, higher feed cost (due to feeding fat
for dust control, micro-aid for odor control, and extra
lysine to compensate for lower consumption), and a higher
energy cost due to heating during the winter and running the
pit fan, feed lines, and curtains. With the hoops we get a
poorer ADG and FE, the cost of bedding, and probably a
slightly higher labor cost due to the need to bed. |
26^ 1997 MANURE SOURCE TRIAL AT THE KEN ROSMANN FARM
formerly Extension Area Crops Specialist
One of the common questions organic growers ask is whether
cattle manure is equivalent to poultry manure in both corn
yield produced and the cost of hauling and application. To
try to answer this question Ken Rosmann, organic farmer and
manager of the Heartland Marketing Co-op, and I set up an
experiment in 1997 to compare the two sources. The research
was supported by Practical Farmers of Iowa.
The plots were on a Marshall silty clay loam soil with 2-5%
slopes on a legume-grass pasture from 1996. Plots were 420
ft. by 30 ft. (0.3 acre). The two treatments were
randomized within each of three replications. 18 or more
rows of corn were borders on both sides and one end.
We sampled the manure and soil prior to manure application
(see Table 2). We estimated that to meet the nitrogen needs
of the crop, 2.1 tons of poultry and 10.4 tons of cattle
manure were needed per acre. (Keep in mind that pre-season
calculations based on credits and yield goals are
Due to spreader limitations we applied 2.5 tons of poultry
and 8.2 tons of cattle manure per acre. This produced
significant differences in nutrient application. The manure
was plowed down the same day it was applied (May 9). Corn
was planted the next day in 30-inch rows, with 12 rows per
plot. Emergence occurred uniformly on May 31.
A soil Late Spring Nitrate Test (LSNT) was conducted on
June 13 when corn was 6 in. tall (Table 3). We also took a
leaf sample at late pollination (see Table 3). Based on the
ISU publication "Nitrogen Fertilizer Recommendations for
Corn in Iowa" (Pm-1714), the LSNT indicated another 30 lb. N
per acre might be recommended for the cattle manure plots,
but an organic source of nitrogen was not available. The
ear leaf test also showed the nitrogen level was lower in
the cattle manure plots than in the poultry manure plots.
Other nutrients were about the same at pollination, when
leaf samples were taken.
Weed populations were very low throughout the summer.
Second generation European Corn Borer (ECB) egg mass counts
were very high, so the field was treated with Bacillus
thuringiensis (Bt) granules in mid August. Stalk rot and
ECB tunneling in the plots at maturity were much less than
in untreated fields in the area. Rainfall was below average
in July and August. The crop matured before the fall
We took end-of-season cornstalk nitrate samples in each plot
on October 10 (see Table 3). All three nitrate samplings
followed planned sampling patterns. Due to the great
variability there was no significant difference between the
treatments for cornstalk nitrate. Ken Rosmann observed some
late season nitrogen deficiency on the lower leaves, with
more on the cattle manure plots. Some of the stalk nitrate
samples in these strips also suggested that the crop might
have responded to additional N.
The middle six rows of each plot were harvested on November
8. Plant populations varied from 24,750 to 26,500, with
less than 100 plants per acre difference between the
averages of the two treatments. Individual plot lengths
were measured. Grain moisture ranged from 17.0 to 17.6 %,
and yields reported are adjusted to 15.5% moisture at 56 lb.
test weight (Table 1). The average yield of the poultry
manure plots was just two bushels per acre higher than yield
of the cattle manure plots. There were inconsistent
responses among replications for both stalk nitrates and
grain yield. More replications would help even out the
variability, but even so there was little suggestion of a
yield difference between the two treatments. The legume
stand was variable in 1996, which probably contributed to
the yield variability.
An economic analysis is important because poultry manure
must be purchased, while cattle manure is produced on the
farm (see Table 4). The cost of loading, hauling, and
spreading purchased (poultry) manure must be charged against
the crops, but loading and spreading manure from an on-farm
(cattle) feeding enterprise should be charged against that
enterprise, because the manure must be removed from the feed
lots or pits. Only the cost of hauling the on-farm manure
from the building site to the field was charged to the crop.
These plots were located about one mile from the feed lots.
The poultry manure had been piled in the field. Using
average costs and the actual application rate in this study,
the poultry manure cost about $14.40 per acre more than the
cattle manure, or about $7.20 per bu. for the
two-bushel-greater yield (Table 4). This represents a
hypothetical economic loss since Ken's organic corn
currently sells for about $4.00 per bushel.
If the intended application rates were applied, the cattle
manure (at 10.4 T/A.) would have cost $44.75 per acre to
apply (not $35.25), while the poultry manure (at 2.1 T/A.)
would have cost $41.70 per acre (not $49.65). Yields may
have been different too. Individual growers should
recalculate this using their own costs. |
33^ FOOTPRINTS OF A GRASS FARMER
Deep-Bedded Facilities Changed Our Lives!
Tom Frantzen, Alta Vista
Hog production techniques are changing in a dramatic
fashion. Most of the attention given to this development is
centered on the rapid expansion of large scale factory style
operations. However, as the number of large operations
grew, a counter revolution also developed. The driving
energy of the counter revolution is the use of deep-bedded
facilities instead of confinement slat floor practices. In
Iowa, over 1,000 fabric covered "hoop house" buildings were
erected in the last three years. We built three of these
during the summer of 1997. Their use changed our lives!
The decision to proceed with this building project was
significant. We employed the Holistic Management decision
guidelines. Spending $40,000 is not a small matter on a 335
acre operation! This construction project and all of the
expected changes passed all of the Holistic Management tests
with ease! If you are not familiar with this process, a
proposed action is questioned as to how it will affect the
quality of life of the people involved, how it will meet the
economic demands faced by those people, and its effects on
the entire ecosystem. We also compared this project to
other possible alternative investments.
Construction began in April and lasted all summer. By the
end of September one of the three hoops was entirely
completed. What a joyful event it was moving the last
confined, slat-floor pig into a straw bedded humane
facility! A pig has at least three natural cravings: to run
around, chew on something, and build a nest. Deep bedded
sheds meet these desires. The pigs are happy. Stress
levels are down for all parties.
Contented pigs are a significant benefit. This is
overshadowed by several major improvements to our farm's
ecology. We eliminated the use of slat floors and greatly
reduced feeding hogs on bare concrete lots. A limestone
floor covered with a combination of corn cobs, oat straw,
and corn stalks provides a superior environment. The
benefits are numerous. The soft bedding pack eliminates
abrasion injuries from laying on a hard slat floor. The
bedding is porous and absorbs the large amounts of dung and
urine excreted. When the pigs are properly bedded, I can
barely detect any ammonia. The fabric building eliminates
the nutrient losses from precipitation run-off. This was a
major loss, nearly impossible to prevent with our older
Several people have suggested that finishing hogs in the
field would be more appropriate than using the deep-bedded
hoops. Although I routinely use pasture and crop stubble
for the gestation and farrowing herd, there are significant
reasons to grow and finish hogs in covered bedded packs.
This phase of pork production uses large quantities of feed.
Recycling these nutrients back to where they came from is
exceptionally important on a sustainable farm. Hoops make
this possible. They keep nutrient losses low, provide an
ideal manure to compost, and provide these features at the
stage where it counts. The downside is the equipment
required to haul and spread. This appears to be the price
one must pay to raise any quantity of hogs on the same farm
where the feed was grown.
The Stockman Grass Farmer encourages its readers to align
their livestock reproduction to complement the seasons. We
heeded this advice and converted to seasonal farrowing.
This also coincides with our use of the hoop buildings.
Sows and gilts are bred to farrow in August and September.
Farrowing ends in early October. The pigs are weaned in
October and November directly into the hoops. The pigs
spend the entire winter in the naturally warmed bedded
packs. The spring farrowing season begins in March. Winter
manure hauling as well as winter farrowing collide with
nature. Aligning our production with the seasons reduces
costs, minimizes nutrient loss, and improves quality of
life. This is a major step in what we think is the right
34^ THE COMMON LIVING DIRT
Marge Piercy (1983)
The small ears prick on the bushes
furry buds, shoots tender and pale.
The swamp maples blow scarlet.
Color teases the corner of the eye,
delicate gold, chartreuse, crimson,
mauve speckled, just dashed on.
The soil stretches naked. All winter
hidden under the down comforter of snow,
delicious now, rich in the hand
as chocolate cake: the fragrant busy
soil the worm passes through her gut
and the beetle swims in like a lake.
As I kneel to put the seeds in
careful as stitching, I am in love.
You are the bed we all sleep on.
You are the food we eat, the food
we ate, the food we will become.
We are walking trees rooted in you.
You can live thousands of years
undressing in the spring your black
body, your red body, your brown body
penetrated by the rain. Here
is the goddess unveiled,
the earth opening her strong thighs.
Yet you grow exhausted with bearing
too much, too soon, too often, just
as a woman wears through like an old rug.
We have contempt for what we spring
from. Dirt, we say, you're dirt
as if we were not all your children.
We have lost the simplest gratitude.
We lack the knowledge we showed ten
thousand years past, that you live
a goddess but mortal, that what we take
must be returned; that the poison we drop
in you will stunt our children's growth.
Tending a plot of your flesh binds
me as nothing ever could, to the seasons,
to the will of the plants, clamorous
in their green tenderness. What
calls louder than the cry of a field
of corn ready, or trees of ripe peaches?
I worship on my knees, laying
the seeds in you, that worship rooted
in need, in hunger, in kinship,
flesh of the planet with my own flesh,
a ritual of compost, a litany of manure.
My garden's a chapel, but a meadow
gone wild in grass and flower
is a cathedral. How you seethe
with little quick ones, vole, field
mouse, shrew and mole in their thousands,
rabbit and woodchuck. In you rest
the jewels of the genes wrapped in seed.
Power warps because it involves joy
in domination; also because it means
forgetting how we too starve, break
like a corn stalk in the wind, how we
die like the spinach of drought,
how what slays the vole slays us.
Because you can die of overwork, because
you can die of the fire that melts
rock, because you can die of the poison
that kills the beetle and the slug,
we must come again to worship you
on our knees, the common living dirt.
This poem was taken from the book Sisters of the Earth,
Vintage Books, 1991, Lorraine Anderson editor.
34^ BITS OF SUSTENANCE
Wanted: PFI Women to share your writings (fact or fiction).
Some examples are - stories, poems, letters, recipes or
favorite book lists. This last page of the PFI newsletter,
titled "Bits of Sustenance" is being made available to learn
more about the women of PFI. From attending the "Women's
Gathering" the past three winters, I have discovered that
PFI women are diverse. We are farmers, educators, students,
homemakers, entrepreneurs, professionals, activists, and
mothers. And most women are more than one of these.
This is not to say that you should overlook other parts of
the newsletter. Since the beginning, women have been very
involved in PFI and recognized in the newsletter. But,
hopefully, "Bits of Sustenance" will be one more reason to
read this newsletter.
We want to hear from you! Send your contributions to Donna
Bauer 1667 Hwy 71 Audubon, IA. 50025, phone and fax:
A Story of Ingenuity
In early March, I was left with the responsibility of
looking after our heifers that were just starting to calve,
while Ted attended a meeting in Sioux City. Ted gave me all
the instructions I needed:
"Here's the small bales of hay - here's where you put them -
and there's where I've been getting the water. About
mid-day you'll need to feed them more hay. I locked #278 in
the barn along with her calf that she had last night plus
two other heifers that look "close." You might want to
unplug the fencer before you get into the lot to check 'em."
At 11:00 a.m. I headed out the check the bunk. I found the
heifers had rearranged themselves. Having squeezed between
a gate and a bunk, they were mingling where they pleased.
No longer were the new mother and soon-to-be-mothers
isolated in the barn. And, looking around, I found one
soon-to-be-mother had already borne her calf amongst her lot
After talking to Ted by phone and clarifying that I needed
to walk the calf into the barn (and receiving his assurance
that the mother shouldn't bother me), I dug out my
seldom-used coveralls and headed out to do the job. Putting
my arm around the calf, I pulled him up on his front feet
and then on his back feet - and, of course, his front legs
folded. After playing that game for awhile, I decided that
this newborn calf, which had not yet stood up, was not going
to walk across the snow-covered concrete lot. Knowing that
I couldn't carry this calf to the barn, I had to use my
ingenuity. Yes, I had to use my ingenuity because many
times I had told Ted that farm women can do most if not all
of the jobs performed by farm men, but that women may need
to do them differently.
So, racking my brain to think of a way to move this calf
into the barn - it came to me. My son's sled! And it
worked! I just rolled the calf over on the plastic blue
sled and pulled it over the snowy lot to the barn. And,
although the mother didn't bother me, I thought how easy it
would have been to drop the sled's rope had the cow decided
to "take'' me. Not bad for a woman's ingenuity - huh?
Do you have a similar story about having learned to do
things "differently?" If so, please share it, because maybe
it will be helpful to others.
Correspondence to the PFI directors' addresses is always
welcome. Member contributions to the Practical Farmer are
also welcome and will be reviewed by the PFI board of
District 1 (Northwest): Paul Mugge, 6190 470th St.,
Sutherland, 51058. (712) 446-2414.
Colin Wilson, 5482 450th St., Paullina, 51046.
District 2 (North Central): Doug Alert, PFI Vice President,
972 110th St., Hampton, IA 50441. (515) 456-4328.
Steve Weis, 2191 440th St., Osage, IA 50461-8211.
District 3 (Northeast): Michael Natvig, 20074 Timber Ave.,
Cresco, IA 52136. (319) 569-8358.
Dan Specht, RR 1, McGregor IA 52157. (319) 873-3873.
District 4 (Southwest): Robert Bahrenfuse, 15365 S. 12th
Ave. E., Grinnell, IA 50112. (515) 236-4566.
Donna Bauer, 1667 Hwy. 71, Audubon, IA 50025.
(712) 563-4084 phone and fax.
District 5 (Southeast): David Lubben, PFI President, 24539
Hwy 38, Monticello, IA 52310. (319) 465-4717.
Susan Zacharakis-Jutz, 5025 120th St. NE, Solon, IA
52333. (319) 644-3052.
PFI Executive Vice President & Treasurer: Dick Thompson,
2035 190th St., Boone, 50036. (515) 432-1560.
Coordinators: Rick Exner, Gary Huber, Nan Bonfils, Room
2104, Agronomy Hall, ISU, Ames, Iowa, 50011.
Internet: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
37^ PFI MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION AND RENEWAL FORM
Zip Code __________________________________________________
Phone # (________) ________________________________________
This is a:
Do you derive a significant part of your income directly
from farming in Iowa?
Individual or family membership: $20 for one year, $50 for
Please enclose check or money order payable to "Practical
Farmers of Iowa" and mail to:
Practical Farmers of Iowa
2035 190th St.
Boone, IA 50036-7423
Rick (Derrick N.) Exner
PFI Farming Systems Coordinator
Practical Farmers of Iowa
2104 Agronomy Hall, ISU, Ames, IA 50011
(515) 294-1923, -9985 fax
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