It is crazy to thing it is the last day of January! This month seemed to fly by for our family and for our farm. Here has been what we've been up to this month raising Corn, Beans, Pigs and Kids:
Corn & Soybeans
When it comes to our crops this month the main thing we've been working on is gathering information and making decisions for the Agricultural Act of 2014 (aka the Farm Bill). This new Farm Bill has enrollment deadlines quickly approaching that will impact some of our risk management tools we use on our farm for the next five years, so it is important we fully understand what our options are. To help us learn about these choices we have been attending informational meetings in our area hosted by Iowa State University Extension and USDA/FSA (Farm Service Agency). This is also a time of opportunity to update our farm's production history, so we've been busy gathering all of our data to do that too.
Weather affects our crop ground all year long. This month we've seen a thick snow cover from a few snow storms at the beginning of the month, disappear here in the last week. The ground thawed a lot, at least in the top couple of inches. I actually got mud on my boots when I walked out into our field to take the photo below yesterday! But as with life in Iowa, that is all about to change as we have 6+ inches of snow coming tonight and cold temperatures to follow. They always say that if you don't like the weather in Iowa, just wait a couple of days and it'll be completely different!
Our pigs are currently six months old and weigh around 220 pounds. We have been caring for them for the last 14 weeks. The big thing during the winter is to keep them warm. You can see in the photo that we have added extra insulation and protection on the walls of the barn to keep a consistent and comfortable temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit for them.
This has obviously been a big month for our family, as we added JP to our family. JP has been an easy going baby so far who is starting to become more alert longer each day. It is crazy to think that she is already three weeks old, but at the same time, we have forgotten what life was like without her.
As for LP, he is enjoying being a big brother to two sisters. One of his favorite activities currently is to build with an erector set he got for Christmas. He loves taking things apart and putting them back together, or rebuilding something completely new. Future engineer possibly?
And MP can't stop kissing and hugging JP. If you would let her I think she would show her affection every other minute all day long. MP's favorite activity is reading. We probably read 20 books a day. Her current favorite is "Tickle Time!" by Sandra Boynton.
What were you up to in the month of January? What was the best thing that happened to you or favorite thing you did? Remember to Comment for a Cause!