Farm Tidbits: Lightning, March Madness and Test Strips

posted on

April 10, 2024

We were reminded last week of the incredible power of Mother Nature. The photos show a tree that was hit on the farm. We could smell the smoke and then identified the hollow tree that was in flames. In fear that it would spread to other trees, Cory & Tony cut it down and put out the flames. But our damage was minimal compared to the tornado damage from the same storm that hit Evansville area farmers. One farm I read about had lost all of their farm buildings, 4 grain bins and 4 barns.
We’ve had multiple notable lightning strikes on the farm, luckily no major damage and no cows have been injured. Generally lightning doesn’t strike cows as much as humans, I’m assuming it’s because their hoofs provide some insulation.  A neighbor of ours lost 9 cows when they were all standing under a tree that got hit, must have been quite the strike.



Here’s a pic of Ace checking out the test strips where we are comparing Nitros (biological product) compared to regular fertilizer.  So far you can definitely see the wide strip in the middle that is not as green where we sprayed the biologicals.  We are hoping the bugs have been too cold to start producing nitrogen.  The next month will be interesting.  We have 3 of these test strips.  The other pic is of calves watching Diana, Ace and I.


Even when the NCAA tournament time is here, we don’t take a break from finding top quality genetics. Here was my view during last Saturday’s Big Ten tournament and bidding on top genetics from Waukaru Shorthorn’s annual bull sale. I got 3 bulls that marble in the top 20% of the shorthorn breed. We also bought 18 heifers that we will breed to top 1% of Angus marbling bulls. We’ve been buying bulls from Waukaru Shorthorn in Rensselaer, Indiana every year for about 20 years now. They maintain the top angus marbling but also give us “hybrid vigor” which helps with structural problems if you use too much angus.  Think of issues with Golden Retrievers who have hip problems and other issues from inbreeding. As with many things, diversity in cattle genetics produces stronger, healthier cattle that grow faster and stay in the herd longer.




Test Strips


March Madness

Lightning Strike

Wakaru Shorthorns


black angus

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