Worry is interest paid on trouble before it becomes due.
William Ralph Inge
It looks green, but it is dry. We have moved our cows from our neighbours pasture and back to our own. Our hope is that the grazing of the grass combined with the predicted weather forecast for days of rain will make those pastures grow once again. Rotation is the key.
There are huge patches of scorched ground, everywhere. Two ponds have been reduced to mud holes, and two babbling brooks running through the farm are more like trickles. It is only May. April had not brought its usual spring rains.
Our cows have plenty to eat right now, as long as they keep moving and not concentrate in one area. I worry that all these early signs in May are pointing to a drought year. We have been there before. The memories of that year still sting. We thought we were prepared for anything but we were not. I think that you are never prepared when you have to depend on the weather in farming. Unpredictable is the word. You can do what you believe will work, but sometimes that will still not be enough.
There are now still about one hundred round bales leftover from this past winter. It had been a milder year with less snow, so that helped. Last hay season we were lucky, it was a productive year. We always hope to have extra hay left for those possible drought years. I do hope this is not the case this year but the early signs are pointing that way.
Our cows never like to eat dry hay during the summer months, especially after they have been roaming fields of green, but they still get to eat. My hope is that the predicted rain comes before we cut our first cut of hay which is growing well, or at least after it has been baled. That seems to be asking too much, I am never satisfied I suppose.
The memories of the year of our drought still linger. We had to sell over half our herd to survive. There was no hay to be bought anywhere. The farmers were taking cattle to market in droves. Some farmers never recovered, we were one of the lucky ones. We are still farming, but we still worry about another year like that. It was so hard to choose which cows had to go and which ones to keep. I never want to make choices like that again.
It has been raining for three days now. My worries of drought have changed. The scorched patches of ground have disappeared. The cows have lots of pasture and they keep moving. The babbling brooks are babbling once again and the mud ponds are beginning to fill.
Now, we need it to stop raining so we can get this year’s hay crop in. This farmer seems to never be satisfied and apparently will never stop worrying.