State of the Farm

There she goes again. Mother Nature keeping us honest and reminding us that her plan isn’t always aligned with ours. She shut the rain off in October when we needed it the most to get early winter pasture growth. Then she hit us with a right hook when she kept afternoon temperatures high and humidity low. Winter grasses like the opposite of everything we got in October. So our carefully planted seed still lies in the ground, hulls unbroken, waiting for their chance.

Here it is, by the numbers: October is traditionally our wettest month, averaging 4.3 inches over the last 7 year measurements. 4.3 also happens to hit the perfect goal of 1 inch per week for growing grasses, with an extra .3 to cover the extra 3 days of the long month. Instead of that perfect average, we got less than ½ of that and it was accompanied by an unusually dry and breezy atmosphere which only exacerbated the drying of the soil.

While this was disappointing, we often see the months flip flop in a transition year such as this. So we’re hoping November will be our October. Sure enough, we have experienced a 2 and 3/4 inch rainfall in the first week of this month and it fell gently over a 36 hour period. We call that a “farmers’ rain” because it falls at a rate that the soil can absorb. When it comes too fast, most of it slides down the hill. Good for the ponds but not so good for the soil.

And that, my friends, is the State of the Farm.