May 1, 2011 Update

Well here it is the 1st of May 2011 and I hope we are going to see the end of this VERY WET weather at the LTS Operations. April has been a difficult month, not only for the horses who are often stuck inside or limited to the areas they can graze, but also for those of us that are trying to get the farm into “Spring Mode“. We are in the same position as the horses, as none of us can get out into the fields – as if we do we will ruin the 2011 grazing pastures. We are trying our best to make Spring 2011 Repairs but we are limited to the areas we can enter. It is so bad we have now even had to limit access to some of the paddocks. Not just at LTS – check any farm on the way to the barn and you will see that there is absolutely NO ACTIVITY in any fields – horses, cows, pigs, tractors – they are all still inside.

A typical event of last week was the need to shut off the power to the electric fences in the “South Area” of the farm (Barn A, 24 Hour Field, Boys Field, Mixed Herd). The ground was so wet that the electric current from the fences was crossing over into the wooden posts – and from there into the metal gates. Quite a shocking experience! I tested them today (April 30, 2011) and they were okay so the power is back on for the southern fences. I will continue to monitor those on the wet days – but do BE CAUTIOUS if it is raining or wet – the fences and gates may give you a little ZAP!

Unfortunately the power is still off in the north and east fields as they are still very wet and the horses have taken out a number of the fence areas. As such, neither the maintenance team and the horses have no access to those fields – but we are all hoping for some dry weather so we can get out into the fields again! As soon as we can, we will get the fences put back up (there are a number of wires down and it is NOT SAFE for the horses to be in those fields). Also, if the horses chew up the fields now when they are so wet the summer grazing will be severely limited. So everyone “hang tight” for a while until the fields dry and we can get them ready for the Spring and Summer 2011 grazing season. As soon as we can get into those fields we will also be retrieving all the rocks that came to the surface from the winter frost – so we will be able to cut the fields earlier in June 2011 to stop the weed infestation we had in 2010. The fields can not be cut until all the rocks are removed – and if you want to “pitch in” that would be great – just make little piles in the field and I will pick them up later.

Everyone is welcome to add comments to the blog if you see a maintenance item that needs attention. The LTS and Radisic team will get to them in priority order and as soon as they can be completed. Spring clean-up has been underway for a number of weeks now and we hope to have all the main maintenance items attended to by the end of the 1st week of May. The spring & summer water filtration system is back in operation and we will be doing a water line cleaning in the next few weeks – so if you see “brown water” don’t be shocked – it is iron residual from the well water system.

The fields are so wet we can not even get into the fields with the “Ditch Witch” to clear the drainage ditches that run through the fields. Those that are “outside” the field areas have been cleaned and that has improved overall site drainage. It is so wet this spring that we have even had to pump water OUT of the farm water ponds.  In the past week alone we have pumped 156,000 gallons of water off the property and into Halton Watershed. That is 780 tons of water – a massive amount of excess rain! The ground is so saturated, there is no place for the current rain to be absorbed – it just sits on the surface.

Any questions or comments – just ask! Remember the LTS Farm Management is also on TWITTER – so keep up to date with the most current news at that address!

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