Letter to Dave 29
Viking, Minnesota

Rural Reflections Radio

Dear Dave,

I’ve always said that cattle farming would be much easier without the cattle. I think I can safely extend this premise to include dirt farming which would be more pleasant without all that soil. I cultivated in the wind today and so carried about a yard of black dirt from the field in my clothes and under my eyelids. This may account for my attitude about the wonderful few inches of soil that allow us to live on this earth.

I checked the weather tonight and it looks like you will get first shot at more rainfall out in Carrington, North Dakota. Please take as much as you want before it passes you by as we will get what remains. It’s been wet here but most could finish field work with drier conditions. Pasture for the cattle benefits from all the water but it also creates a fair crop of mosquitoes. We built bat houses last season but still no occupants. Bats eat thousand of insects each night but Lonnie from the elevator suggested guinea hens for insect control. The only problem is that we will then have to search for something to control all the guinea hen droppings. We were lucky and avoided winterkill in our hay land but I did notice the orchard grass is somewhat taller than the alfalfa so the late Spring frost did have some effect.

The cattle are doing well and I’ve sorted the mothers from the calves. I sorted by myself this year with great success. I loaded all the cattle into the corral then stood by the gate while the cows escaped as their more timid calves stayed behind. Moving cattle from one corral to the next is like flushing a toilet. Once more than half are through the gate, they kind of vacuum the rest into the next chamber. I did get that grazing corn planted but had to drill some soybeans in the area where I ran out of corn seed. Dad let me use his 7520 John Deere to prepare my alfalfa ground up by Viking, Minnesota and all that’s left their is to pick rock. This year we’re planting turnips for the young stock to eat when the cool-season grass decides to take a rest. The only downfall of turnips are that they give the cattle a case of bad breath, almost like kerosene. No more cow kissing allowed on this farm, probably never should have been any in the first place.


I wanted to thank-you for finding a front-end loader for my tractor. I’d like to say I have the loader mounted already but I stripped the threads while bolting it to the tractor. Dad put a positive spin on this mistake by saying it must be because I’m so strong but I wish some of that strength would find it’s way to my head. My friend, Al Melbye, says mechanics have to eat steak once in awhile too and someone handy with a wrench will get to do so because of my error. Hope all’s well your way.


Your little bro’