January 2019 Update

Greetings,

It’s raining on this January 7 in Wisconsin and temperatures are in the 50’s. It also time to get out an update on activities at Hillside Pastures, the first since April of last year. So here goes.

Hillside Pastures was the host of the 4th Annual Upper Midwest Devon Exchange in May. The weather cooperated, the event was well attended, and the cow yard was full of cattle. We are planning to do it again in a few months, but more on that later.

2018 was a summer with an abundance of rain that was generally favorable for grass farmers; however, the downside of abundant rain is saturated soils that set up ideal conditions for flooding. And we have had our share. Some bridges in our neighborhood were out for months, but damage at the farm has been limited to a few fences downed by water, and gravel on farm roads that simple refused to stay in place.
 
Sandhill canes in the front yard.

Status Report
We met our 2018 annual sales objectives and, in fact, it was a good year for Devon sales—especially considering the steep declines in prices for commercial cattle. we are going into the winter with some terrific options for anyone interested in building or improving a Devon enterprise.

Cow/calf Pairs. We are offering for sale several Devon cows that have been confirmed pregnant for spring calves—-cows that are currently nursing heifer calves. In most cases we know the sex of the spring calf. These cows are available with or without the 2018 calf.

Young heifers and bulls. Available now is a handful of bred heifers that will start delivering their first calves in early May of 2019 as well as an equal number of polled bulls that will be approximately 24 months of age during 2019 breeding season.

Update on Breeding Program
Since the summer of 2015 we have relied heavily on a single herd sire, Brookview Z61, and the quality of his offspring has certainly justified the investment. This past summer we decided to retain some Z61 daughters to use as replacement heifers in the herd, a decision which kicked of a diligent search for a second herd sire to back up, or even replace, Z61.

1 Brookview Z61 – senior herd sire at Hillside Pastures

Vix Jatz – Australian bull used for AI in 2018

Eagle View E636 – this son of the New Zealand bull Tapuwae 635 will be used for natural service on heifers during the summer of 2019

Gowan Ross Johann – Australian bull scheduled for 2019 AI program

Save the Date
We are again partnering with 3 other Devon breeders to host the 5th Annual Upper Midwest Devon Exchange, a one-day event scheduled for Saturday, April 6, 2019 at the Grant County Fairgrounds in Lancaster, Wisconsin. Devon cattle will be in the barn for sale and for demonstration purposes. Additional information will be coming soon.

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