State of the Farm

It appears that the forecasters who predicted a dry, droughty summer despite a rainy winter and early spring appear to be right. We fell significantly behind in our rainfall for April and May and now June is lagging badly as a high pressure ridge has settled above us. We have already brought in a truck-load of hay and have another one on the way, hay that we would not normally need before winter but will have to be fed to supplement less-than-ideal grazing conditions in the summer instead.

Clay has done a fine job of foreseeing this rain gap and laying a claim to hay at the best price we have paid in at least a year if not more. That has helped ease the loss of rainfall these last 3 months. And while it is hot, it is not hot like it was last year. We had less than half the number of days above 95 than we did last May. That helps all of the creatures of Jolie Vue, but it doesn’t grow grass. We are seeing the after-effects of 2011 in our grasses’ response to irrigation.

Keep in mind the importance of allowing rest time for the grasses to recover, remembering that a blade of grass is not only food but a solar panel for capturing the energy of the sun. The length of the blade of grass also reflects the depth of the root system, so stunted grass tells you that the roots are short and shallow, trying to successfully inhabit the hottest, driest part of the subsoil closest to the surface.

Farming — it’s not for the feint of heart. 

JVF