I’ve not written anything lately because my heart has been heavy.
We are in drought conditions here. We also missed a record by a few days of consecutive days above 90 degrees. We’ve even gotten water conservation advisory’s for household use.
That means instead of grazing pasture, cattle are being fed hay and have been for several weeks. Some years Lynn sells the extra hay he put up to help some people’s livestock get through the winter…but seeing as how hay is being fed much earlier than in a typical year we won’t have enough extra to share. Cattle prices are down this fall from where they were the last couple years…what that boils down to is it costs more money in inputs (hay, grain etc) to raise cattle that don’t bring as much.(because the market prices are down for cattle)
The grain harvest is finished, it has been so dry so long that they began harvesting much earlier that they ever have. (Grains are harvested once the moisture levels drop down to a certain percentage) Usually at harvest there is an atmosphere of exhaustion mingled with relief and the satisfaction of completion and a bit of jovial celebration thrown in when Lynn and his dad start filling up the grain bins with the corn and soybeans they’ve worked to grow since spring. This year it was different. This year there was no relief and celebration from a bumper crop..or even a average yield. There is certainly still more than enough to get by with.
Instead of laughter filled tailgate picnics when we brought refreshments to the field, it was more of an eat quickly and go back to work affair. Adding insult to injury the awful grasshoppers seem to be more in numbers and greatly increased in size.(I hate grasshoppers.)
Spending hours upon hours working on something only to be wholly reliant on something as fickle as the weather that isn’t favorable is disheartening.
It’s hard to watch as the farmer’s wife. You want your husband to be richly rewarded for the long days, the seven day weeks he’s put in. Heck, as the farmer’s wife I feel like even **I’ve** earned a plentiful harvest, with all the picking up the loose ends that comes with a farmers harvest season. To me a good harvest means Lynn has time to breathe and can relax more. A good bumper harvest means he doesn’t feel as driven to prepare for next year ahead of time.
But that isn’t our year for that. And it’s not the end of the world. And the grain bins are still adequately filled. The income from grain and the cattle sales will, with continued good management be more than enough to fund all the farm endeavors next year.
I don’t want you to get the wrong idea. There is enough. We aren’t struggling financially to get by. Because great decisions made by my husband and father -in-law the farm as a business is in great shape. Years like this are planned and prepared for. Everything is fine. It is a good lesson in faith.
But weather effects the farm. And the farmer. And by proxy the farmer’s wife….and we all know if Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.
So please if you pray, pray for much needed rain. And for good weather next year.