Wet Weather on the Farm

I saw on the news the other night that the past 90 days have been the wettest on record, I can sure believe that.  I hear people complain that they cannot go camping, it has been hard to schedule all the soccer and baseball games, or they have water in their basements.  But all this rain is much more than an inconvenience on the dairy farm.

We don’t get to take the day off if things are too wet, in fact it makes more work for us to do.  We have to straw all the animals, especially the baby calves to make sure they can stay dry.  The rain increases the amount of manure we have to scrape out of the pens and haul out to the field, and with fields so wet this has become quite a challenge.  When it rains too much in one storm the feed in the mangers gets ruined and must be cleaned out and replaced with fresh feed, some days our cows must thing we are feeding them soup.

To add to our troubles we are running out of feed, hay was in very short supply this past year and we were hopping for an early hay crop, instead we are a couple of weeks behind harvesting first crop hay.  Even the fields that are ready to cut are so wet that you cannot get the tractors out with out getting stuck.  I have noticed some of my neighbors chopping hay to feed directly to the cows, one of them was stuck in the mud today.  Normally we like to have our silage corn planted by the middle of may, as of today (June 10) this field where we want to plant corn is still too we to drive on.

I don’t write this to complain.  I hear of droughts and fires in Texas, tornado and floods in the mid-west, and earthquakes and tsunamis in Japan.  I think I’ll take the rain, but I wouldn’t complain about a little sun either.  Rain or shine I will be out early every morning making sure my animals are properly cared for.

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One Response to Wet Weather on the Farm

  1. Sterling says:

    I am constantly amazed at the risks a farmer is willing to make to make a living. Unpredictable weather, increased vulnerability in markets and increased input costs all result in a risky business. There’s no question, a durable and committed farmer must love the industry, the land, the animals and family. Surely, those are the motivations that have proven to last generation after generation. Thanks for taking the risks so I can enjoy a safe, affordable and abundant dairy supply in my home.

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