Heat Wave: Part 2
This week we have been harvesting our third cutting of hay.
You are probably wondering how and why we would do this when we haven’t had any rain to produce hay.
We have to get what is in the field off so that it will bloom and grow for fourth cutting (hopefully). We normally do four cuttings of hay, anything after that is tough and not a good product that we want to feed our animals. With the drought, we lost 85 percent of our hay crop in the third cutting this week.
Last Saturday we had about a half-inch of rain. Though this isn’t much, Brad said this would help our corn crop, but we will have very short stalks with ears. The lack of growth in height will hinder our corn silage.
Around the beginning of July, we harvested our wheat and instead of cashing the check and helping pay bills, we had to turn around and purchase corn for our animals to be able to feed them through the winter.
Farmers depend on the sales of their crops to pay bills and what they don’t sell to feed their animals.
I tell you these things because the lack of rain and high temps has really hindered farmers across the nation. Our area has had 24 days of 90+ degrees which comes from the high jet streams for most of the country. With the heat as it has been, even if we would have had moisture, it would have dried right up.
Brad’s dad has always warned us about the drought of ’88. He has always said to be prepared in case we had a repeat, and Brad’s grandpa used to always talk about the drought of ’64. But I have mentioned before that this year is worse than the drought of ’88 because we’ve had hotter temps sooner.
With these conditions as they are, our guys are under a lot of stress. We are harvesting what crops we can a month to two months sooner than normal. They are concerned about food quantity, having to buy food for our cattle, where can we get it, and having enough money to make it through. We have an added worry because our milk price is currently going down at the same time our crops are suffering. So we are carefully managing our money, taking care of our animals and harvesting what we can. I always believe that God will take care of you and sometimes these things are an educational lesson. The last time our milk price dropped, we really learned the lesson of how to manage our money to make it last. So eventually it will rain again and I know with God on our side, we’ll be okay.