State of the Farm

I find nothing normal about the “new normal” in our weather. More accurately, it is the “new abnormal”. Let’s review: we survive a three year drought and all of its repercussions, followed by a year in which we register a full year’s rainfall in 7 months. Then we revert to official drought conditions by August, which continues into September and October. The 2015 drought is broken when 3 systems collide from the Gulf, the northwest and southwest, the latter being the remnants of a record cat-5 Pacific hurricane out of Mexico, leaving some 8 inches of rain at JVF (thank you thank you). And that apparently is only the beginning of a wetter, colder than usual winter. Nothing normal about that. In short, there is no predictability from the norm and when the weather changes, it seems to do so more radically.

The three months of dryness took out a large reserve of grasses we had saved to get us through the transition from summer to winter. What would have been good forage while we waited for our winter grasses to blossom became less than optimal as it leaned to dead, dry grass. Still edible, but we see the herd backing off in its fat reserves.

While the dryness pushed back our winter pasture planting, we did time the rains nicely and the 5 pastures we planted are all nice and green (it makes a beautiful contrast against the gold of fall grasses). But we’ll take the copious rain that has come albeit late in arriving – too late is better than not at all. But it’s not any form of normal.

JVF