State of the Farm

The calves have thrived on the spring grasses for an unusually extended growth period, starting about 6 weeks earlier than usual due to the extraordinarily warm winter. It is very satisfying to watch them grow with the abundance of sweet grasses available. The pigs too, but those guys seem to grow regardless of weather, August heat being the exception. That will slow the no-sweat-glands piggy down every year.

But we are now in June and things are heating up at the same time that we are seeing the now familiar “heavy rain/no rain” cycle. Let’s review with stats from the rain book.
We were doing fine through the first 3 months of the year. Jan/Feb/March were fine, slightly above normal. Then April missed by nearly 2 inches, and early May brought one good rain then went dry again. That accumulating dryness extended into early June, accompanied by strong, low humidity winds, further sucking moisture from the soil. I began to hear the crunch of drying grass as I walked the pastures, an unhappy sound. Clay and I could see that moving the cattle to the next pasture would be a short term fix only; the pasture was not ready and grazing it would only weaken it further as we prepare for the hottest months of the year. So we brought out the hay in order to buy some time for the coming pasture and turned on the irrigation well for future pastures. Voila! Here came a good rain, ranging from 2.4 inches on the west side to 3.5 on the east side. (yes, we often find discrepancies in rainfall between our east and west side rain gauges. We have different micro-climates on our small patch of the planet Earth. Amazing) So, life is good again. We have a chance of having grass as we turn into July and August, a hope that we shoot for every year, sometimes hitting, other times missing.

JVF