Weather. It’s the beginning of seemingly every farmer’s conversation. It’s too dry, too wet, too cold, too hot, too cloudy, too sunny…. and on and on. It’s pretty easy to pick on farmers for that. I know I’ve heard that weather is the lowest form of conversation. But what if your livelihood depends on it? What if every move Mother Nature makes can change your fortunes for years to come? Perhaps weather is a more interesting topic than you might think.
Usually, the discussion about weather is… well, that it sucks. Seldom do we farmers get what we want for weather; indeed it’s almost always not “perfect”, which of course is next to impossible. It usually rains too much, or too little, or at the wrong time. Yet, sometimes the weather does do exactly what you want it to do. Sometimes, there just isn’t really much to complain about.
This week, we got that weather. After a ridiculously long and cold spring that saw us start seeding two weeks later than normal and into soil temperatures that would make a polar bear flinch, we finally got going. We had a pretty good run, despite some problems (well, maybe more than “some”), and in 8 days we seeded half of our crop. To be honest, I’m still shocked at that number. After two days of what was my most horrible nightmare of starting seeding, with a new drill that I was ready to drive off a cliff, we managed to average 650 acres a day, or a little more than 6% per day. We have never seeded half of our crop in 8 days. And then, to cap it off, we got a perfect rain. A nice, slow, light rain that totalled between 3 and 7 tenths across our farm’s geographic area.
I know, rain does stop the seeding operation, and yes, it is already late in the season. It rained overnight Sunday into yesterday morning, and we probably won’t get going until Thursday. We can live with a delay with the progress we made. A rain like that will germinate all of our seeded crops, it will get the weeds growing so we can get a better kill, and it will ensure our winter wheat doesn’t run short of moisture.
Yes, I am not afraid to say it: it was a perfect rain (at least for us, anyway; I know some people south of here who were not happy to see any moisture, and I know how that feels, believe me!). The only thing that would cause this rain to be a real problem for us is if it rained again right away this weekend. We still need at least another week to get the crop in, and June is coming up awfully fast, so rain could just go ahead and stay away for awhile. But, let’s be real about this; Mother Nature really couldn’t care less about what I or any other farmer wants for weather. The weather will just do what it does, and we just have to go ahead and get over it. That doesn’t mean we can’t complain about it though!
There’s a quick update on what’s going on for the Leguee Farm. Hopefully we can get going with the drills the day after tomorrow. We hope to get spraying and tillage work done tomorrow near home, where it rained less. I’m excited to get back out there; I live for this time of the year!