What’s Happening On The Farm

Son of a Beach Family Farm
Spring NEWSLETTER November 1, 2020

Thank you all who have purchased SOB Beef this past Spring and Summer!   

Social Media… www.sonofabeachfamilyfarm.com, Instagram: @sonofabeachbeef                                YouTube Channel: Son of a Beach Family Farm   Facebook Page: Son of a Beach Beef

Family:  Clara (4) and Emmett (2) have been enjoying the time home with Lisa doing activities on the farm, playing in the basement, and even going to “school”.  Emmett plays with all his toy tractors and loves to look at cow sale magazines I receive in the mail.  Clara continues to become more and more artistic, wanting to paint, color, draw, and construct any idea that comes to mind.  Lisa has been busy taking lots of photos with the beautiful fall weather we have been having and going on walks/bike rides with the kids.         

Harvest:  Dry down times for this year’s soybeans and corn have been extremely fast.  Harvesting started early and often compared to many years of the past where the fields would not be fit to drive on until the ground froze solid well into December.  Soybean harvest this year came with issues of the beans being too dry!  Soybeans are sold up to a moisture of 13% to grain elevators.  If higher than the 13% you will be docked in price.  If you bring beans less than 13% then you as a farmer are missing out on the opportunity to sell water!  Beans this year were being combined in our neighborhood out of the field as low as 7%.  By only harvesting early morning/late at night we were able to harvest at right around 11%.  In regards to corn, you may sell it at a grain elevator with 15% moisture without being docked in price.  This year we have been combining corn at 17-18% out of the field so very little drying in the bin has been needed to get it down to the 15%.  We use propane to create heat in the bin to dry it down so it can then be stored throughout winter and sold next year Spring/Summer. 

Cattle, Hogs, and Sheep:  I have been culling the herd hard this year and taking it back down to around 50 Cows.  I have been trying to breed the crazy, poor mothering, and slow growth out of the herd.  This will better optimize our farm resulting in us to be able to retain more of our replacement heifers out of our own herd.  While lowering the number of cows, I have been adding feeder calves and will be feeding out around 100 total this year.  We have also added a Berkshire Guilt who we will breed this winter (Nov/Dec) to start our hog herd back up.  The kids have been very excited to play with the new pigs!  I also have plans to purchase a bred ewe this fall.  It will be fun and exciting to bring sheep back to the farm.  I faintly remember my father having lambs when I was about 3 years old.  We had to bring the little lambs into the house to warm up on a cold winter’s night.  You can imagine how fun that experience was!      

Hemp:  Our hemp is finally in the finished product ready for sales.  It has been a long process to get it from the field, to the processor, converted to oil, and packaged in tinctures.  We are proud to release the first bottles for sale.  It has been a lot of hard work and a lot of weeding but it is nice to know your product comes directly from the family farm.  Please let me know if you are interested in purchasing a tincture and giving it a try for yourself!      

Andrew Beach: N1671 Honey Creek Road, Monroe WI, 53566

Phone: (608) 558-4839   Email: abeach86@gmail.com    

Fitchburg Farmers Market Thursdays 3-6pm until October 31st

Son of a Beach Family Farm
Spring NEWSLETTER April 15, 2020

Calving and Craziness in 2020

Pictures L to R:  Brand new calves paling around, April Showers oops I mean April Hail Storms, Clara and Emmett enjoying time in the field.  

Thank you all who have purchased SOB Beef this past winter!   

Social Media… www.sonofabeachfamilyfarm.com, Instagram: @sonofabeachbeef                                YouTube Channel: Son of a Beach Family Farm   Facebook Page: Son of a Beach Beef

Family:  With all the craziness going on in the world this Spring, it has been nice to be able to spend so much family time at home.  Clara (3) is busy riding her bike at any chance of sunny days and Emmett (1) has grown very fond of playing with the kitties and waving to the cows.  Lisa has been great finding fun and creative ways to keep everyone entertained and learning while trying to minimize the cabin fever.  She has even found some time to do more of her watercolor paintings since her photography has been limited due to the current circumstances.      

Planting Prep:   I have been busy prepping our John Deere 1750 Conservation No-Till Corn Planter in the shed, usually with a couple cats rubbing up on me and Clara double checking everything with her own toy wrench.  Due to the wet planting of last year and the mud buildup on the planter, I purchased some Gauge Wheel Scrapers that mount right onto the planter and help keep the wheels clean.  The Gauge Wheels are what set the depth of the seed as it goes into the ground so if they are covered with mud buildup the seed will be placed too close to the surface and not at 2 inches like it is supposed to be.  Hooking the planter up to the tractor and connecting all the hydraulic lines, electrical wires, air vacuum hoses, chains, pin, monitors, and lights is quite the process and you never really know if you have everything right until you get out into the field and start planting!

Calving:  We are just finishing up calving for the season and it went great using our new Hoop Barn that we erected in December.  We were able to add extra shelter for the newborn calves on the cold windy nights and the new structure also prevented calving problems.  We only had to help pull two calves out of 60!  The calves are definitely ready to go running on the pastures as soon as possible! We are just waiting for the mud to dry up and the grass to get a little more growth.  When they are not in the hoop barn or shed hiding from weather they are out running around in the field of corn stalks from last season.  Lisa and the kids like to come and watch at chore time when the calves run like horses chasing each other around.

Fitchburg Farmers Market:  We are still hoping for there to be a Fitchburg Farmers Market this year! In the meantime we are still taking orders, processing, and delivering beef with slight changes.  We have started to do curb/garage/porch drop offs for customers to be able to continually fulfill their orders but also to limit contact to help keep everyone safe.  So far it has worked out great but we miss the conversation and visiting with our customers like you!   

New Bull:  This past weekend I added a herd bull to our farm from the Woodhill Angus Sale in Viroqua, WI.  We are very excited to add this bull as he will bring calving ease to our cows and high marbling to our steaks!  We welcome Woodhill Custer A43-G438!  

Andrew Beach: N1671 Honey Creek Road, Monroe WI, 53566

Phone: (608) 558-4839   Email: abeach86@gmail.com    

Fitchburg Farmers Market Thursdays 3-6pm starting back up in May (hopefully)!

Son of a Beach Family Farm
Winter NEWSLETTER

February 1, 2019

Weaning/Adding to the Herd/Prepping for Winter

Pictures Top L to Bottom R:  Two new baby goats born on a cold day, Fresh Farm Eggs now for sale from SOB Family Farm, Andrew trying to keep warm in -38* F, Calves iced over in the morning waiting for feed, Clara and Emmett waking up on a snowy day.  

Thank you all who have purchased SOB Beef this past fall!  Please let me know if you have any other friends or family who may be interested in purchasing meat.  It is never too early to reserve your beef today! New for ordering are Cuts of the Month Packages (great for gifts or those with lack of freezer space).  Also, keep current with the happenings on the farm with Social Media… www.sonofabeachfamilyfarm.com, Instagram: @sonofabeachbeef,                                YouTube Channel: Son of a Beach Family Farm, and Facebook Page: Son of a Beach Beef

Family:  The Beach family has been experiencing many new firsts with our two children Clara and Emmett.  Clara is learning how to be a great big sister (rough start in the beginning…thought Emmett was her new toy).  Emmett is a very happy baby who loves to be held and part of the action! If he hears things going on he wants to watch and be part of it.  Clara has been spending time dancing, singing, riding her tricycle around, and playing on the farm. She even helped Dad combine soybeans this year, until she falls asleep in the cab.  Lisa has been busy and having fun with her photography business. She also enjoys her time teaching an afterschool art class at the Monroe Arts Center for elementary children.

Weather and Fall Harvest:  End of fall brought us a wide range of weather and pesky situations for our crops.  The rain and mud prolonged harvest well into winter. We were able to get through all harvesting with only getting the combine stuck once in the mud.  After hooking two tractors to the combine and breaking multiple chains and straps, we recruited a neighbor and his quad 4 wheel drive tractor to assist.  Eventually we got it out, and started combining away. We can’t complain though after talking with neighbors who were stuck 4-8 times. Tar Spot was a new disease that affected most corn in Wisconsin/Iowa/Illinois.  This disease caused the corn to dry down and die about a month early. The winds of fall pushed and knocked down much of this corn if you were not able to get into fields in a timely manner.

Weaning/Cattle: On the Beach Family Farm we fenceline wean all of our cattle.  This makes it easier on both the calves and cows which helps keep their stress down.  Practices like this have shown to decrease the likelihood of developing Respiratory diseases and also shrink due to lack of eating as a result of stress/anxiety.  After the cows/calves have been separated for about a week the cows are then moved to one farm and the calves to another. This way we can feed each group the correct rations and nutrients to help grow and prepare for calving.  I have also begun adding to our herd by buying 25 bred cows at sales this fall and winter. I am excited about growing the herd but need to make sure it makes financial sense. Hay prices are very high right now which is both a  positive and negative thing. Positive because we can sell any extra hay for cash flow purposes but also a negative because by adding to the herd, that’s more head to feed. Luckily we are able to grow all crops and feed here on the farm so we have that flexibility to play to the better market.    

Show Cattle: SOB Show Cattle has a Senior Yearling Simmental Heifer named Shrek (Clara named her).  Sami Ellefson will be showing her at the Green County Fair and also Wisconsin State Fair.  She will also be taking a Crossbred steer to the Green County Fair. We will be weighed in and registered our fair cattle the last weekend of December at Equity in Monroe.    

Social Media… www.sonofabeachfamilyfarm.com, Instagram: @sonofabeachbeef,                                YouTube Channel: Son of a Beach Family Farm, and Facebook Page: Son of a Beach Beef

Andrew Beach: N1671 Honey Creek Road, Monroe WI, 53566

Phone: (608) 558-4839   Email: abeach86@gmail.com    

Son of a Beach Family Farm
Summer NEWSLETTER

August 15, 2018

Prepping for Harvest/Cattle on Pasture

Pictures top L to Bottom R:  SOB Show Cattle Reserve Champion Senior Yearling Angus Heifer at Wisconsin State Fair 2018,  Checking to make sure we have enough room in the silo for the last load of second crop alfalfa, Our favorite farm cat Fiona, and overlooking the pasture and cattle as the sun rises

 

Thank you all who have purchased SOB Beef this past spring/summer!  Please let me know if you have any other friends or family who may be interested in purchasing meat.  It is never too early to reserve your beef today! New for ordering are Cuts of the Month Packages (great for gifts or those with lack of freezer space).  Also, keep current with the happenings on the farm with Social Media…

www.sonofabeachfamilyfarm.com

Instagram: @sonofabeachbeef,

YouTube Channel: Son of a Beach Family Farm

Facebook Page: Son of a Beach Beef

 

Family:  The Beach family added Emmett Andrew Beach (7lb. 9oz) on June 25th, 2018.  We are extremely happy and blessed with our new addition to the family. Lisa took a little break this summer from The Farmer’s Wife Photography but is now back in full swing with a busy fall ahead with sessions/weddings almost every weekend!  Clara has enjoyed her summer by going to the pool and playing on the farm with her favorite cows and cats. She is also getting used to being a big sister and loves to read books and snuggle with Emmett (and pull on his toes every once in awhile).  

Weather:  This summer we have had exceptional weather for growing crops.  The heat and rain have all been timed in line for pollination and now filling of the soybean pods and corn ear kernels.  The USDA is expecting a bumper crop this year for the nation, which is both good and bad because we will yield extremely well but market prices will be down.  We have also escaped the severe weather so far with only minimal damage during a couple of the heavy storms we have had. It seems like when we do get rain now, it falls with added winds and hail.

Fall Harvest: Harvest is just around the corner.  We are expecting an earlier harvest due to the great weather the crops have been receiving.  In preparation, we are making tune ups to our John Deere 9600 Combine and gravity boxes to be able to haul the grains back to our bins.  In a couple weeks we will be cleaning the last of 2017 crop out of the bins and taking it to market. After that we do our checks to make sure the fans and dryers are ready for harvest 2018.  We will store our corn in a 20,000 bushel bin and soybeans in a 10,000 bushel bin. After we get those full we will sell the rest of the new crop during harvest right off of the combine.

Pasture: Cattle have been on our pasture since May.  They have done well on the grass and enjoyed time in the creek that runs through it and lounging under the trees on the hot days of summer.  We have had to fix a lot of fence due to heavy rains and the creek flooding and pushing against the wires. Cattle will stay on pasture until after harvest in which they will then be moved to graze on corn stalks and bean stubble until being brought back to the home farm to wean the calves off.

Cattle: This fall I will be purchasing around 20-25 bred cows to add to our herd.  We are also planning on retaining more of our heifers to build the herd for next year and start the process of expansion.  With the grains hitting new lows in the market it is a great time to add cattle because we will have the extra grain and grass to feed rather then selling it on the market.   

Show Cattle: SOB Show Cattle once again had successful showings at the Green County Fair and Wisconsin State Fair.  Sami Ellefson showed one heifer and one steer at Green County Fair and took that heifer to Wisconsin State Fair where she won Reserve Champion Senior Yearling Angus Heifer!  She did a great job showing and we are looking forward to working with her again.

Social Media… www.sonofabeachfamilyfarm.com, Instagram: @sonofabeachbeef,                                YouTube Channel: Son of a Beach Family Farm, and Facebook Page: Son of a Beach Beef

Andrew Beach: N1671 Honey Creek Road, Monroe WI, 53566

Phone: (608) 558-4839   Email: abeach86@gmail.com    

Son of a Beach Family Farm
Start of the New Year NEWSLETTER

February 1, 2018

Calving Season Preparation/Staying Warm

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Pictures Top L to Bottom R:  A full ear of Latham corn from our test plot before harvest, My father Paul combining soybeans, Clara’s first walk in the snow, Beach Family Christmas Eve Photo, Beach Farm on Bethel Road on a Snowy Evening.

Thank you all who have purchased SOB Beef this past year!  Please let me know if you have any other friends or family who may be interested in purchasing meat.  It is never too early to reserve your beef today!  I will be offering sample packages throughout the spring!  Also, check out the new updated YouTube Channel and Instagram with current happenings on the farm.

Family:  The Beach family was able to celebrate the holiday season with all family members back at the farm.  Lisa has been continuing her Farmer’s Wife Photography while also teaching an after school art class at the Monroe Arts Center one day a week.  She enjoys being involved with teaching and her love of art.  It also gives Clara a scheduled babysitting time every week with Grandma which both look forward to.  Clara loves going to the pool for swimming and being chased around the house while playing hide and seek.  She has already developed her own sassy personality and loves keeping Lisa and myself on our toes!   

Weather:  This winter has been extremely difficult with its intermittent periods of freezing temperatures, warm days with mud, and ice storms.  On the farm we need to be constantly checking the cattle’s water to be sure they are not frozen and the warmers are working.  We also make sure to keep the cattle bedded with clean fodder to be able to keep warm and dry.  Feeding becomes more of a task when everything ices up because the feed bunks/belts will usually be frozen until the afternoon when the sun comes out. When that happens we need to bring bales and feed hay by hand to feed the cattle.

Fall Harvest: Harvest went smoothly with only a few minor hiccups.  We were postponed for a few days due to a shaft and belt breaking on our combine causing it to leak hydraulic fluid.  A spare part was purchased from a farmer over near Wilmot, WI which we then assembled in the combine and got back out into the field.  We were blessed with great crop growing weather once again this year and our yields for the farm showed it.  The Beach Family Farm averaged over 220 bushels an acre for Corn and over 63 bushels an acre for Soybeans.  

Planting: Planting is just around the corner.  We have already had our seed delivered and are storing it in our new Pole Shed that we built this past summer.  Once again we will be planting 100% Latham Seeds on the Family Farm.  I have also sold some Latham Seed to neighbors who also planted it last year and had success.  We will be working on the planter and seed monitors soon to be sure everything is ready to go once the warm weather arrives.  

Cattle: I purchased and added 45 feeder calves (43 Heifers and 2 Steers) to our herd in December 2017.  They averaged around 500 lb and we will add a few to our herd as replacement females and feed out the rest for fat cattle this spring.  This was a great way to add to and diversify our operation at the Farm.  We have separate facilities for our own born and raised cattle and the ones we purchase.  This way we are able to keep genetics separate and individualize feeding plans.  

Show Cattle: SOB Show Cattle is once again going to be shown at the Green County Fair and Wisconsin State Fair.  Sami Ellefson will once again be showing two heifers and one steer at Green County Fair and be taking one of those heifers to show at Wisconsin State Fair!  She did a great job showing last year and we are looking forward to working with her again.     

Social Media:  Please follow and subscribe to follow the current happenings of Son of a Beach Family Farm.

YouTube Channel: Son of a Beach Family Farm

Instagram: @sonofabeachbeef Facebook: Son of a Beach Beef

Andrew Beach: N1671 Honey Creek Road, Monroe WI, 53566

Phone: (608) 558-4839   Email: abeach86@gmail.com    Website: sonofabeachfamilyfarm.com


Son of a Beach Family Farm
End of Summer NEWSLETTER

September 1, 2017

Cows in Pasture-Harvest Preparation

Thank you all who have purchased SOB Beef this past year!  Please let me know if you have any other friends or family who may be interested in purchasing meat.  It is never too early to reserve your beef today!  I will be offering sample packages throughout the winter!  Also, check out the new updated website and Facebook page with current happenings on the farm.

Family:  Clara celebrated her 1st birthday this summer and has been keeping Lisa and I busy chasing after her since she has just recently been walking on her own!  Clara especially loves playing in the pot and pan cabinet and also the spice drawer, rearranging the order of them everyday.  She now has 6 teeth poking through and eats anything and everything, other then the pieces of food in which she enjoys throwing on the ground from her high chair.  Lisa has been very busy with her photography and is also picking up crocheting.  This summer, we as a family enjoyed times at the pool, library, playing tennis and golf, boating in Oshkosh, walks around the neighborhood, and of course visits to the farm and garden.  Clara loves the farm cats and pulling their big fluffy tails.  

Hay:  This summer has been extremely difficult finding periods of sun and dry weather to make hay.  As a result we have rolled with the punches and tried some new methods on the farm.  We usually make large square bales and store in the barns.  However, without long enough periods of dry weather this year we round baled and plastic wrapped the bales in the field.  This will produce silage round bales which we will feed out in winter to the cattle.  By doing this practice you do not need the hay to be as dry to bale it.  The plastic wrapped bales will be protected out in the field leaving barn space open for storage of seed and barley for my brothers Cheese City Beer brewing.  

Harvest: Just around the corner.  We will be starting to combine soybeans the last part of September into early October, then switching to corn.  We try to be done with all harvest by mid November or Thanksgiving at the latest.  However, all depends on weather and how fast the crops dry down in the field.  This year we will also be putting corn snaplage, which contains the ear (cob and grain), husk, and shank, into the silo to use for the feeder cattle.  This feed will be supplemented with the silo bag of haylage we made this summer to finish the cattle over winter.    

Cattle: Summer has been going well for the cows and calves out on pasture.  We have had just enough rain to keep the grass growing and dry enough that they are not getting stuck in mud.  We will be bringing the cattle to graze the corn/bean fields after harvest in November.  This way we only move them once while vaccinating and weaning.  The less times being handled, the healthier the calves and cows.  Weaning can be a very stressful time for the animal so as the producer, we need to make sure we cater to those needs and keep them as healthy as possible.  Techniques such as fenceline weaning and bunk breaking are a couple we instill on our farm.  This helps make the transition as smooth as possible.   

We have added a new female to our herd.  I purchased a December 2016  born open heifer at the Riley Brother Angus Sale in Darlington, WI this September.  We have also just started our fall calving with great success.  Over half of the cows have already calved within the first week.  I will be purchasing and adding to our herd in a month or so with the purchase of around 50 feeder calves.  They will be around 500-600 lb calves that we will add to our herd as replacement females and feed out the rest for fat cattle.  

Show Cattle: SOB Show Cattle has its first year in the books with great success.  Sami Ellefson showed our heifer at the Green County Fair that won the Supreme  Grand Champion Simmental Female!  She also took the same heifer to the Wisconsin State Fair and placed second in her class.  Sami also showed a steer at Green County Fair that was 3rd overall Lightweight Steer.  She had a great time showing and is already planning what she wants to take of ours to next year County and State Fairs.  

Andrew Beach: N1671 Honey Creek Road, Monroe WI, 53566

Phone: (608) 558-4839   Email: abeach86@gmail.com    Website: sonofabeachfamilyfarm.com


Son of a Beach Family Farm
Spring NEWSLETTER

April 15, 2017

Pictures Top L to Bottom R: Clara Lyn (9 months old) out to dinner with Mom, White newborn calf one day old, Cattle coming to eat on a foggy morning, Cow and newborn calf only an hour old-up and learning how to walk, Brown calf (4 days old) ready to play while a black one takes a nap.  (Click on a photo to view it larger)

Calving Underway-Planting Preparation  

Thank you all who have purchased SOB Beef this past year!  Please let me know if you have any other friends or family who may be interested in purchasing meat.  It is never too early to reserve your beef today!  I will be sending out order forms in early summer.   

Family:  The start of 2017 has been filled with new adventures for Lisa and I as we grow and learn along with our daughter Clara.  Clara who is 9 months old is now crawling and grasping everything in sight.  She loves to stand up on her own and play with her toys with a big smile showing how proud of herself she is.  Clara has also made it known to us that she does not like eating fruit! The faces and reactions she makes while eating it are quite entertaining. On the other hand, she loves her veggies!  

Planting Preparation: To prep and get things ready for the next couple of weeks of corn/bean planting, we have to bring the planters out from the back of the shed (which is quite the job itself) and do our routine checks on them.  We make sure everything is still in working order from last planting season including the following: make sure all belts, sprockets, and bearings are all turning and lubricated, wheels are properly inflated, seed discs are intact and clean, grease all zerks, set all the seeding/fertilizer/pesticide rates, make sure the row cleaners are intact, replace any cracked keetons, setup the precision planting monitors in the tractor cab, etc…you get the idea!  Then finally, we do a test round to make sure the beans/corn are being planted at the proper depth and spacing and make any needed adjustments.   

Planting: This year we have planted 25 acres of  hay which was a mix of alfalfa, orchard grass, and barley to harvest in late summer.  We will be making a silo bag to open up to feed the feeder calves after they are weaned during late fall.  Planting was a little delayed due to rain and cold temperatures but we were able to get it all planted Easter weekend.  I finished planting in the dark at 9pm with the lights on the tractor making sure we got it planted before the rain came at midnight!  Lisa and I are now planning our garden for the summer as well.  She has grand ideas about what she wants to plant and grow.  It usually happens that she comes up with the idea and will help plant, but I’ll be out there weeding and hoeing all summer with the farm cats keeping me company in the sun!     

Cattle: Calving season is just about 20 days in and we have 34 calves on the ground.  Self-sufficient beef operations like our family farm aim for a goal of a calving season that lasts between 4-6 weeks.  Calving in this time window will allow you to produce healthier and more uniform calves.  Since our cattle are born out in pasture under our watchful eyes, the smaller calving season you have the better to prevent the passing of illness from one calf to another.  Once a cow has her calf, we bring them into shelter, make sure the calf receives the colostrum they need, make sure the cow is attaining the nutrition they need, and ear tag the new calf.  I have also started to band castrate our bull calves at birth as compared to cutting castration at weaning when they are 6 months old.  This practice is more humane for the calf and allows them to be less stressed, which means a healthier calf.  Weaning is a tough time for the calves so waiting until then to cut and castrate is only asking for poor health and infection.    

Show Cattle: SOB Show Cattle will be shown at the Green County Fair and also the Wisconsin State Fair this year by our family friend, Sammy Ellefson.  She will be showing two heifers and two steers at Green County and taking one heifer to State Fair.  We have already been working with them a lot on the weekends including cleaning, blow drying, and working the hair.  Clipping and training them to lead is always a fun adventure because every animal is different and has their own personality.  I will also be selling two steers at the Northwest Illinois Club Calf Sale in Freeport, IL this October.  

Andrew Beach | Son of a Beach Family Farm | Beach Family Farm