While I am in Winnipeg for the Manitoba Dairy conference, I'll use this nice internet at the hotel tto update some details about farming in Ukraine... unfortunately I forgot the camera with the nice photos I took last week, so here are the cold dry facts!
Garry is enjoying all the equipment that came in the container and the employees are learning how to use it! By the time he arrives here in two weeks, everything should be set, I haven't talked to him to find out if they have built this year's bale insulation wall in the barn yet, I know it's on his to do list.
The TMR mixer is saving money already, someone makes a batch to feed every morning for the cows. Of course since the milk cows are still in the tie stall barn, they need to move the feed inside with the wheel barrows, but there is hardly any wasted feed to feed the heifers and dry cows now, less than a quarter of what they had been removing everyday, I think Garry said. The TMR mixes all the hay, corn silage and other feed together so well the cows don't sort out the parts they like, and now everything is weighed, so they don't get overfed, which Garry says may be a big reason why they are having less feed wasted. Garry has cut the number of students working over at the new barn, since the big job of feeding is being done by the machine, only the smallest heifers over there are being fed with wheelbarrows now.
Last week one of the milk buyers didn't show up as scheduled (my van broke down is the usual excuse), so the milk tank did not get emptied and washed on Wednesday. Nothing upsets Garry more than selling old milk, so they had the milk truck come buy it on Friday to empty the tank, and he discovered the truck is paying five grivna a liter. Wait, that's what we have been charging the buyers for the last month, up from four for most of the summer... and the truck is always lower. So the price went up this week to six ( maybe 6.5 for the small volume buyers)!
Two weeks ago after the wet weather arrived, it was too mucky to keep the switch group of cows outside in the barn yard, and twenty were too many to keep clean in the loose housing pens, so Garry decided to dry some off and sell five cows (and one four year old open heifer who never got pregnant) so there are only 10 -12 getting switiched now during milking from the pen to the stalls. Still waiting for a company to say they want to install the equipment in the new parlor, if we'd been in there as planned we could have milked the extra cows this winter.