Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Sometimes we worry.....for nothing.

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.


Later

27 comments:

  1. I remember when you had that drought year. I hope you get some rain soon!

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  2. I'm so glad you're getting rain! I know, we're never satisfied, are we?! And what one farmer prays for, another one doesn't want or needs the opposite! Celebrating with you!

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  3. Farming is not for wimps, that's for sure. Beautiful photos of happy cows! Hugs!

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  4. I'm glad you're getting rain. I suppose there's a reason for the joke about the farmer who is never happy with the weather. It's true in coffee shops everywhere there are farmers.

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  5. We do worry about everything on the farm don't we. But there is a lot to worry about with a farm!

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  6. So glad that you got some rain! I hope you can stop worrying, for a little while, anyway......

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  7. It's never easy ...

    So pleased you got some rain.

    All the best Jan

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  8. Big smiles! So happy to hear of your rainfall. What an awful thing to have to downsize like that. We are full time grain farmers as of this year, and I have never paid more attention to the weather. It is one thing to garden as a hobby, but once your livelihood depends on things growing, life changes a lot. So far, we have had a wonderful Spring. Feeling grateful...

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  9. When I read the woes of modern farmers like you, I think of my grandpa back in the 1920's and 1930's with 40 acres and one mule and one plow. And a house full of hungry children. Times have definitely changed, and our climate has, too. Linda@Wetcreek Blog

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  10. My country is too often in drought. I feel for the farmers.
    We had a very, very dry start to the year and last weekend got a months rain (and more) in a day. The garden is smiling and I am smiling. I am so glad that the skies opened for you too.

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  11. That is one great, great quote. I copied it and hope you don't mind if it shows up on my blog some day. So much to learn from it. I'm glad you got the rain and I'm sure your cows agree too. We are still in a drought here even though we have had rain this past winter and even some snow and a lot of snow in the Sierra Nevada. I guess it takes a long time to recover.

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  12. we still haven't got enough rain up the Ottawa Valley. We had that good downpour on Sunday but not much since.

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  13. we had a lot of waste in our hay fields due to too much rain. but i'm glad you have gotten hope for your pastures.

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  14. Mom always called worrying Borrowing Trouble.

    I wish I could send you our hay.

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  15. Hi Buttons - I'm glad to hear it has been raining. In California we are no strangers to drought, so I know how scary that can be. Weather is one thing we can't control so it can definitely be worrying. Good luck!

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  16. Farmers are at the mercy of the weather. You've got to be tough to manage in those conditions.

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  17. Your last statement is SO true!!
    We are putting up hay now. It is always nice to have hay in the barn.

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  18. I'm so glad you got some rain and hope it eases enough for you to get your hay in.
    I'm sorry you had your year of drought, but couldn't stop my passing thought of our much longer droughts here in Australia.
    Farming is a hard business for sure, even when the weather co-operates.

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  19. The weather or whether it will stop raining or will rain.
    Pleased it's raining so things will grow.
    Such a dry summer for us, water was critically low, now it's rained in winter and flooded many areas with farmers losing their cattle, well some farmers.
    Hugs M xox

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  20. I'm so glad you got that much needed rain! Hopefully it will stop so that you can get the first crop of hay baled.

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  21. I doubt that anyone who has never had to make a living at the mercy of Nature knows how much a farmer worries. My visits to my Jersey at my neighbor's dairy barn is always peppered with weather talk. No wonder.

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  22. We are at the mercy of weather.

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  23. Hi Buttons, I enjoyed reading your post. It reminds me of the old saying, If it's not one thing, it's another. :-) That last picture ... your shadow on the cow ... you could make that shadow image into a nice brand mark! :-)

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  24. Sorry to hear about the lack of rain...we have had too much. El Nino has really wreaked havoc this last year. Our two years of drought were just horrible. Fires everywhere...no one had hay so we had to have it shipped in- I can't remember but the price was super high. I was very glad when the rains returned, but now we have had like three epic floods on area lakes, and mud everywhere. I don't know which is worse.

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  25. Weather is so fickle - it must be hard when your livelihood depends on it. After a snowy April and May, we are now in need of rain. A few nice gentle nights of rain would be perfect. However, none is in the forecast. My hose is getting good use in my gardens.

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  26. Glad to hear you got some rain. It must be very hard when you feel out of control of the outcome because of unpredictable weather.

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The mind grows by what it feeds on. J.G. Holland

Thank you so much for your comments, they mean more to me then I could ever express. Hug B

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