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Hixson Diaries

February 15, 1998

The weather was cloudy and windy today. That helped dry out the mud, but since it didn't get cold enough to freeze last night the roads are muddy and a mess.

Larry and Milo fed all the cows today. We went to church; then spent a relaxing day at home.

February 16, 1998

It is a cold wet morning but no real rain. Larry had a bad day trying to feed the cows at Hillman's (the pasture 8 miles east of town). He hit a hole and put a hole in the radiator of the pick up. It will be out of commission for a few days. He went to see the Novartis van. WaKeeney was its only stop in Kansas so people came from a large area to view the new technology for farming. The van was at Big Creek Fertilizer; they sell fertilizer, chemicals, and seed to many farmers in our area. I worked at the hospital getting the agenda ready for the hospital endowment board meeting that I will miss tomorrow night. In the evening I attended the hospital board meeting.

February 17 and 18, 1998

We attended the meeting of the Wheat Quality Council in Kansas City for two days. We arrived at noon in time for Larry to attend the meetings that concerned Hard White Winter Wheat. Kansas State University is releasing two new varieties of this wheat next fall. It poses several problems because it will have to be kept separate from the Hard Red Winter Wheat that is grown in Kansas. The mechanics of who will handle this wheat and how the identity will be preserved will be the topic of several meetings in the next month.

While we were gone Milo feed the cows and tagged new calves. Joe went to Hays to get the radiator for the pick up and started putting it back together. We arrived home Wednesday evening in time for Larry to attend another meeting at Big Creek Fertilizer. We believe that farmers can almost drive themselves crazy with meetings in January and February.

February 19, 1998

I spent the morning getting caught up from being gone two days. We had a lot of mail because of the Presidents' day on Monday and our being gone Tuesday and Wednesday. Larry spent the morning in town at the Farm Service Office, the county assessor's office and the bank. The calves keep coming.

February 20, 1998

A lovely spring day. Larry is beginning to worry about the wheat greening up too early. We haven't had much cold weather this winter, just rain and mud. We will probably have another cold wintry blast before April. If the wheat starts to grow and is then frozen it will decrease the yield.

Larry had a well drilling company come and try to drill a water well in our barnyard this morning. The results were not encouraging. They did find some water but probably not enough to water the cows and to run our house. We live outside the city limits, right at the edge of town and have always had city water for all of our water needs. The city council decided to raise water rates by about 50% to people outside the city limits. This is a very dry area of the state with little irrigation and small towns live and die by the amount of water available to them. We even pipe city water two miles north to provide summer water to our cows. We will keep working on this problem.

February 21, 1998

Today was another beautiful spring day. Sunshine and no wind. Yesterday another cow had twins. She paid attention to one but not both of them so Milo brought one of them to the old chicken house we use for baby calves. Then later in the day a cow had a calf that was born dead. This morning I helped Larry move the cow home then we put her in a very small pen with the new calf to try to get her to claim it as hers. It will take several days to see if this project is successful. We tied the cow up and she let the calf nurse, then we put a product called NOMO on the calf to trick the cow into licking it and thinking that it is hers. We will see if this works.

Two heifers behind the house were trying to have calves when we looked out our window. After an hour and no progress, Larry and Milo moved them to the calving barn and pulled the calves. Both are healthy but very large calves. The calving barn is now full with three pairs.

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