Thursday, August 2, 2012

One Inch of Hope!


Hope is brightest when it dawns from fears.
         Sir Walter Scott.


Last Thursday morning I awoke to the soothing, joyful sound of gentle raindrops falling on the roof above my head. I was so excited, that was exactly what I had been hoping for, praying for. It in my mind this was just in time, a sign of the start of a recovery from this drought. This drought has changed many farmers lives and I for one am hopeful.

A phone call to our drover (buyer) the other day confirmed what we had already suspected for weeks. Farmers are selling their cattle off; there are lots of sellers and very few buyers. This in turn makes the price they will get for the cattle drastically reduced. With no pasture and very little hay they have no choice but to sell and take what they can get. Some will cut their losses and run, something we are hoping not to do, we have been in this situation before but we were younger and I was braver. I think the prices are still not too bad but as time goes on it will only get worse, the price per pound is dropping daily.

Our drover informs us round bales of hay in this area have jumped in price they are selling from $45 to $100 a bale. Last year we sold some for $20 a bale. Wow I think our hay is worth way more than our cattle at this point. A late killing frost in April had destroyed the alfalfa in most fields and the hay quantity was way down from last year making for an extreme shortage of hay. Compounding no rain and the blazing hot sun drying up everyone’s pastures farmers are getting desperate and extremely nervous about the winter. The trucks at the sales barn can be seen lined up with long lines of trailer and truck loads of some thinner for lack of feed, but mostly healthy usually profitable cattle going to be ran through the barn. They will be bought cheaply by someone who has hay and pasture in another area not affected by the drought, or someone who had the forethought to stockpile hay or corn and luckily has the means to feed and water them.

That early Thursday morning I lay in bed listening to the sound of hope knocking on my window, I could not wait for the sun to come up so I could go explore the bush and see how my cows were enjoying this rain. I could not wait to dance in the rain. Things like that make you forget everything, at least for a little while.


We will still have to sell probably half of our herd, most of the stockers were going anyways but now we will not get the price we were expecting making for more worries but with this one inch of rain that fell we have hope that the pasture will bounce back, and there may be more rain coming, and just maybe a second cut of hay. Wouldn’t that be grand?

Selling has always been a very emotional but a very financially important time for us on the farm; at least now we may be able to postpone the selling to a time when we are ready to sell instead of desperate to sell, hopefully making a big difference for us. I am so happy it rained that one inch and gave us that hope.

Sitting here writing this Tuesday evening the last day of July it rained for about an hour. I don’t think it amounted to anything but we are still hopeful. Maybe August will be the month we have been waiting for. I know a lot of you can relate to this story be it with crops or livestock. May we all get rain soon. Farming sure is a roller coaster ride.

Later

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44 comments:

  1. How frustrating. Our hay crop got ruined this year (ironically, by a rain deluge).

    Hope you get even more rain!

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  2. I've got fingers, toes, knees...basically everything I own that can be crossed...crossed for rain. It is so discouraging to see all your hard work sold for less than it's worth.

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  3. Nature is being such an ornery cuss this year...hope the rain helped!

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  4. Hoping for more rain for you, and for all those who desperately need it.

    I remember my Pa (grandfather) and his constant checking on, and worrying about, the weather. It's not an easy life, but since when is anything worthwhile ever easy?

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  5. we had some rain this week & it is such a blessing. such a wonderful sound. we need so much more though. enjoy your day. Beth (:

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  6. We've already been told our chicken will go up in price because of the effect on the grain in the US. I just can't understand why as we're going to have bumper crops here this year. Goes to show you how the weather has a rolling effect all around the world.
    I'd send you some of the rain we have down under if I could. No doubt they'd have to quarrantine it for months first!
    Hoping things turn around for you all very soon.
    Buttons ... something is in the post for you tomorrow. Sue

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  7. It really makes me sad to know that you and so many farmers are struggling.

    I will pray for more rain for you all. *hugs*

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  8. Wow, it is so crazy the types of weather across the country right now. It has been hot and dry here, but we still are getting rain. And we got over 11 inches in June alone I believe - so perhaps we are on the other side of the coin, too much rain. I hope that you are able to get more rain soon. Positive thoughts in your direction!

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  9. I can't recall a worse year for so many farmers and ranchers, to be honest. Last year the flood, this year the drought. August is typically the hottest month here and I imagine it will live up to past years. We will get through this.

    So happy for your rain -- I do hope it takes you through to the next one. xo

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  10. As you know Illinois is a farming state, a good deal of the crops being corn and soybeans. The drought this summer has decimated these crops and the effects will be felt all around the world. My heart goes out to you and all of the farmers.

    P.S. You are so sweet to have offered the use of your washing machine. Bless you!

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  11. It has been such a terrible summer for so many.

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  12. It's been quite the summer for many. I'm hoping for more rain for you soon!

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  13. Buttons. Dearest always said being a farmer is the worst stock market he was ever in. I have some fields in good condition ( relitivly speaking) for second cuts. We are undicded if we need it or not yet this year. But I get two calls a day from farmers in need of hay wanting to cut it. Reason...lack of hay. I sold off most of my sheep this spring, so I'm not in the hot seat yet this year. My cattle ( dairy) going for beef is all called for by friends. I'm doing okay but many are not. Its like the foot & mouth all over again.

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  14. Boy, does the weather make farming DIFFICULT!! I sure hope you get more rain (but not so much you get floods).

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  15. it sounds exactly like texas last year - long lines at the sale barns; sky-rocketing hay prices; hay being shipped in from places much further north. so glad you got some rain. the pastures will react to it, but i'm not sure how much.

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  16. Praying for more needed rain to come your way ~ ~ thanks, namaste, (A Creative Harbor)

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  17. I feel you! Great post - well written! We've heard of the high hay prices too $100 south of us. I hope you can hold on to your stockers long enough for the prices to bounce back - I know they will. Good luck and thinking of you!

    And was wondering if you would like to be a feature on our blog "Faces of Agriculture" - contact me if interested! We need stories like this one!

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  18. Yes, and the weather roller coaster and the ranch roller coaster are not on the same track. Bless you and your fields for rain, more and soon. I set the lawn sprinklers on this morning then read your post...so many variations in this great world. I hope for your weather to help you.

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  19. This life story will never end, but is a relay, and continues, everywhere.

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  20. Glad to hear you got some rain, Buttons. Every shower helps a little.

    The weather, markets and finding feed resources is a roller coaster ride.

    We are sitting ok, at the moment. But, rain and winter moisture are a necessity.

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  21. Farmers have been hoping for a good rain in Nebraska to! Corn prices are going to go through the roof! They are losing it so fast. :(

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  22. Yes, my parents were farmers and what excites and saving rain expected. Greetings.

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  23. Your story is one I am hearing from all those around us. In the diner and farmers market and everywhere I go it is the same.

    I to am hopeful for all of you and all of us and everyone in this situation. We have enough with the down economy we do not need the weather to add to our whoas.

    while I am only loosing a lot of plants and years of hard work building my garden others I know are loosing their livelihood and in some cased the legacies of generations.

    I hold everyone in our rural communities in pray and like you continue to have hope.

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  24. hi !

    I just joined you! thanks for the comment. Aren't we having fun with Rural Thursday? I love Nancy and Lisa so.

    You joining me would be awesome!!
    yes? :D

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  25. Hooray for your rain! I hope you get more and your pastures can bounce back!
    I'm afraid to see the prices for hay this winter. Our local feed store said that feeds containing grain have already had price increases because of the drought.

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  26. I pray for your area to get some relief from the drought! These are such hard times for farmers n livestock owners. Keep the faith..hope the rain will come n stay for a while!!!

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  27. Isn't it awful? So much of the U.S. is also in a drought situation and everyone is talking not only about what it is doing to the land and the animals but what it will do to the cost of food...

    Pearl

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  28. I'm so sorry. We'll keep you in our prayers and pray for more rain.

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  29. it's been a frightening year. we've greened up a bit in the past two weeks. my husband mowed our lawn for the first time since the end of may! hope things keep looking up!

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  30. I continue to keep all of the farmers and ranchers in my prayers, I am glad you had a little rain, I hope you get more and that your pastures bounce back. ~April

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  31. I realize that farming has its ups and downs, but it's sad to hear of the hard times for so many this year.
    I certainly hope the weather conditions improve for you.

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  32. Praying more rain comes your way very soon.

    Cows are a fave of mine. Love that 1st shot!

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  33. Will be praying for more rain to come your way. This drought has been in the news lately.

    Visiting from A Rural Journal!

    http://mandatorymooch.blogspot.com/2012/08/tasty-thursdays-2.html

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  34. BUttons, I am really hoping our rain moves your way. I will even do a rain dance thing...

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  35. I'm glad you got rain. My family is feeling the pinch from this year, while last year they were flooded. Danged if you do and danged if you don't.

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  36. Hello Buttons.
    I would hope that you get the rain you want.
    Thank you for visiting my blog.
    Wishing you a good weekend :)
    Hanne Bente

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  37. i just knew your rain dance would work!
    but...only an hour's worth of the wet stuff? dance longer...harder...

    more will come.

    fires, floods, drought, the heat & freezing cold...mother nature is giving not too many breaks lately...i wonder why???

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  38. ...ONE inch of hope is better than a FRACTION of an inch...hang in there...THINK rain, it will come... :)

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  39. Good thoughts and prayers coming your way♪

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  40. This has been such a rough year for the farmers. I am praying for rain for you and all those who need it.
    Here in SW Minnesota we are in a drought while a few weeks ago they had floods in NE Minnesota.

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  41. Oh, this just breaks my heart.
    But doesn't waking up to the sound of rain absolutely wonderful???

    Last year at this time, we had to sell off 1/2 of our herd. This spring, we couldn't buy back because the price per head was sky high! We went to the sale a few weeks ago, hardly any cattle to be bought. I guess everyone is holding on to what they have. The hay bales around here are going for upwards of $130.00. It isn't nearly as bad this year as it was last(except for those dang ol' grasshoppers!)and hopefully get a good cutting of hay in a few weeks. I am hoping and praying that you get much needed rain for your cattle and hay crop! Hang in there and keep the faith!

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