What’s Happening On The Farm

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