Sunday, June 24, 2012

The D Word

Farmers are usually too well grounded to be superstitious. But using the capitalized "D" word to describe a period of dry weather during the warm season is almost unheard of until it's too far gone to do otherwise. Unfortunately, as of today we have reached that status here; we have moved beyond being "a little dry" and we are officially in a Drought. With typical summertime temperatures in place, one rain no matter how big or how welcome, is unlikely to do us a whole lot of good.

Compared to most farmers, dry weather only causes a moderate amount of concern around here. Our first worry is always securing an adequate hay supply to get us through winter and however long the drought lasts. Thanks to some forward planning we started implementing a couple of weeks ago when it started to get really dry we have bought significantly more first cutting hay this year than we did last year to supplement our own first (and possibly) last cut.  Unless the weather changes soon hay prices are going to go nowhere but up and we wanted to get as much ahead of that possibility as we could.

Our second concern is always water. Our aquifers are such that wells in this part of the world tend to fail fast when the weather gets dry which, of course, is right when you need them most. To that end, we don't even try to rely on well water during dry weather. Every spigot at the farm is connected to the county water line at the highway which simply eliminates that worry.

I've talked about it several times before, but the (hopefully) once in a lifetime drought of 2007 remains at the front of my memory. For all my farming neighbours I sincerely hope this isn't the beginning of another summer like that.  It is not unusual to have dry spells in the summer in the southeast, however since 2007 dry weather tends to bring out very unwelcome memories.


Clayton and Toledo grooming

Fabrizzio and Noble grooming

Traveller, MyLight and Cinnamon

Elfin and Thomas

Chili after taking a drink

Lotus and Gus hanging out in the trees

George relaxing in a shady spot

Snappy, Lucky, Fabrizzio, Silky and Walden

Johnny and Rampal grooming

Fuzzy, Murphy, Wiz, Dutch and Sebastian


Anonymous said...

We're in a severe drought here, too - everything is dried up and dusty - it already looks like the end of August. And more weather in the 90s this week - we usually have only a few days in the 90s all summer and I've already lost count.

SmartAlex said...

After I was sure the forecasted rain had missed us completely yesterday, we were awakened by two rounds of thunderstorms.

The first thing I do I the morning is run out and check the rain guage. One Inch!!! I never dreamed I would grow up to have a rain obsession.