Thursday, August 20, 2009

Soggy business

I believe Mother Nature got the codes for June and August mixed up when she entered them into the national weather program. In June, our lawn looked as brown and dried up as is usually does in late August. Right now, it looks as green and lush as it usually does in June. The same is true for our pastures. During a typical year, we'd be heavily supplementing the cows and heifers with dry hay. We're feeding a little hay right now, but not as much as we usually do. Actually, we're feeding more hay because it's wet than because it's dry: we had to keep the cows in the barn for a couple days because the sod was too soggy to handle the traffic.

And when the pasture here is too wet for cows, that means our yard is really a mess. I wear muck boots all year long and by late summer they've always acquired a few cracks. Usually, it's not a big deal because mud isn't an issue in August. I walk around in cracked boots until September or October, when soggy socks send me to town for a new pair. Not so, this year. I went in yesterday for a new pair.

As further evidence that Mother Nature is mixed up this year, our third crop of alfalfa is the crop that got rained on. Apparently, the third time's not always a charm. Our first crop went up without a drop of rain; our second crop saw a little sprinkle, but not enough to push us back terribly. We took a chance on third crop and tried to squeeze the harvest in between two weather systems. It's a good thing we didn't buy any lottery tickets that week. After two days of terrifically muggy weather that resulted in no dry-down at all, our beautiful third crop was thoroughly washed by over two inches of rain.

Glen was pretty bummed, but chose to see the sliver lining behind the clouds. "Look at it this way, now instead of 150 bushel corn, we'll have 200 bushels an acre," he said.

(All in all, the third crop turned out to be pretty decent. The test results aren't back yet, but it looked reasonably nice coming out of the baler.)

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