Today is the third day of May and all of our corn seed is still in the bag instead of being planted in the ground. Last year at this time we had most of our corn planted. My husband isn’t completely stressed yet but his concern grows daily as more rain falls from the sky. Each day his smile fades a little more as more rain creeps into our forecast.
Last year we endured a horrible drought – it has been described as the worst drought in over 70 years. We were praying for rain, hoping our prayers would be answered in time. On our farm, rain came too late to help our corn crop but we did get an inch of rain in July that saved our soybean crop from complete disaster.
For the year 2013, we’ve had over 18 inches of precipitation on our farm. Last year during this same time period we only received 10 inches of rain. Last month alone we had 8 ½ inches of rain on our farm compared to only 4 inches of rain last year during the month of April. We can definitely say our prayers for rain have been answered! (I think next time we need to be a bit more specific about when we need the rain!)
I’ve heard many people say farmers are never happy, they always want something improved. In a way, I would agree with that because we are always looking for ways to improve on our farm, whether it’s the way we care for our livestock or the way we care for our soil. When it comes to the weather though, it’s true; we are normally frustrated about it because our lives on the farm depend so much on the weather. This winter the extreme amounts of snow complicated our work load, and last summer the extreme drought devastated our corn crop. Our life on the farm revolves around the weather, literally!
Over the next ten days, we are forecasted to have rain on seven of the ten days. (And there is even a chance for more snow tonight! YUCK, it’s MAY!) That doesn’t leave any window for planting a corn crop. Sure, we will have three days of sunshine but just because the rain stops doesn’t mean our soil is dry enough to plant seeds in the ground. We will need lots of warm weather, sunshine and some wind to dry out our soil. Unfortunately for us, these sunny, warm days are not coming soon enough.
Farmers are eternal optimists, even though the ten day forecast is dreary, we are holding out hope that on May 13th there will be lots of warm, sunny days to dry out our fields and allow us an opportunity to plant our corn. And if this isn’t the case, there is always next week, right? Until then, our shop will be full as Kevin does routine maintenance on our hay equipment. I guess he figures since he has the time, he might as well make it count since it looks like we will be planting late this year. Hopefully planting is finished before it’s time to go to the hay field to mow hay. Wish us LUCK!