Working Around Mother Nature
We wish we could control Mother Nature, but unfortunately she has her own plans. This spring when we were trying to plant crops in our fields, it was too wet and the rain wouldn’t stop.
Now, we have not received more than half an inch of rain on our fields since we planted them. We do not have the option to put sprinklers on our fields like some put in their garden, although some farms have this option, called irrigation.
We are getting into the drought stages really fast. When corn does not get enough rain the leaves start to curl. Those plants are trying everything to conserve water.
As a dairy farmer, we get more concerned about the weather than others because we’re growing the food for our cows for the entire next year. If this drought continues, there is a possibility that we will not have any food for our cows.
We usually get four cuttings of hay crop from our alfalfa fields. We just took our second cutting this week and things are not looking good. It was a smaller amount than we expected, and if we do not get any rain before we cut again in 30 days, we will not be able to take a third cutting.
Much like your lawn, which (unless you have been running the sprinklers) you probably have not mowed much lately, our hay fields are not growing, either.
There’s an old wives’ tale that corn should be “knee high by the fourth of July.” In past years, the corn has been much higher than our knees, more like chest high by the fourth of July (unless you’re as short as me 😉 ).
This year by harvest time in the fall, we might be lucky to have our end corn crop get knee high in some of our fields. Typically, at that time, it should be well over 6 feet tall. We are keeping an eye on the fields and the sky and hoping for the best. We will see what happens in a few weeks when the corn is the age to pollinate and start setting its kernels. Without the moisture this will be when we could get hit the hardest.
Mother Nature has a way of determining what we do and when, but for farmers that’s even more true as the weather not only affects our daily activities but also affects the future of our farm.