Abigail’s Fodder for Thought – Wait, what WINTER?!
It seems like fall is flying by me this year. Last I recall, it was September and I was gearing up for a month of trade shows and traveling through the glorious autumn weather to enjoy what other folks experience (outside of New England). Growing up in Maine and living in Connecticut now, fall has always been a favorite of mine. The leaves are changing, I can order hot coffee instead of iced, scarves and coats come out of the closet and I can enjoy an afternoon outside without feeling like I’m melting. It’s that homey time of year when you move from the outdoor fire pit and BBQ to the inside fire place with warm apple cider—yum!
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of traveling to Madison, Wisconsin again for the World Dairy Expo. Having just moved into a house with a yard, I was sad to leave my trees and their slow-but-steady color change. I only hoped I wouldn’t miss too much in my week away. Wisconsin did NOT disappoint. I arrived in Madison on Monday with that cool, crisp autumn breeze as a warm welcome. I traveled from Connecticut with Kathy, as we did last year, but we met Kat and Paul at the Dairy Expo as they traveled from the Beef Expo just the week before. Since the Fodder-Pro Feed Systems were so popular last year, we decided it was necessary to up the ante; doubling not only our representative count but also doubling up on booth spaces, with the ability to highlight our mobile training unit.
Monday was just for setting up and organizing ourselves for the week ahead. Tuesday kicked off the show and it was BEAUTIFUL, with not a cloud in the sky. Wednesday followed in the same fashion—gorgeous weather. Show traffic was a little lighter than 2012 but we all know, “make hay when the sun shines” isn’t just a saying and we can only assume folks were taking advantage of the sunshine. The remainder of the show days brought out the mid-western thunderstorms we always hear about. The sky opened for hours on end, dumping buckets of rain. As soon as we thought it was over, down ii came again. Good thing none of us are made of sugar & spice, and all things nice or would be have melted!
Sitting in the trailer, watching the rain come with incessant diligence, and tending to trays of fodder, I couldn’t help but think about the great benefits my customers see from having their systems installed early. It is at times like these that the competitive advantage of having your own feeding capabilities really resonates with me. No longer are you subject to the ebb and flow of commodity feed prices and availability. Not having to scramble at the drop of a hat to accommodate for the weather that changes every 15 minutes (catastrophic October snowstorm anyone?) can bring a sense of calm and control to the farm. With just a seven-day turnaround from seeding the trays to the harvestable product, the installation of a Fodder- Pro Feed System can mean one less headache, especially this time of year.
It bears mentioning though, that planning ahead is always important. While the growing time is short to say the least, lead times for manufacturing can exceed eight weeks for Commercial 3.0 Feed Systems (up to three weeks for 2.0 models), then we have to consider transit time for shipping as well as installation time as on-site assembly is required. With our in-house, interest-free financing plans with no penalties for paying out early, it makes perfect sense to install the equipment early and then just start growing when you need to.
Having fresh green sprouts throughout the winter will assist the animals in receiving their energies for maintenance almost immediately, keeping them happy, healthy and warm. This also maintains improved gut function, allowing them to continuing using feed in the most efficient way for their bodies. In turn, this facilitates production, allowing them to maintain consistent levels rather than drastic highs and lows due to the transition of feed and feed quality. No matter which way you look at it, a Fodder-Pro Feed System is just the thing you need to add to your farm this fall!
Enjoy the weather and let us know where you want to see our fodder trailer pop up next!