I'm trying to get back into writing more for the newsletter. My days are full of amazing experiences and tidbits of charm, but I feel like sometimes I take it for granted and I should be sharing these experiences.
I was recently asked about how the spring has been to farmers. If there is anything constant in farming, is that farmers love to talk about the weather and the weather is never what they want. In my opinion, there are two sides to every coin.
The Bad Side of the Wet Spring
The very wet spring has created many challenges for farmers. Currently, nationwide only 67% of the corn crop is planted. Last year at this time it was 96%. It doesn't take an economist to predict the future there - supply will be short, making prices high, driving up the price of meat, dairy, and eggs this fall.
For our specialty crop (produce and fruit) farmers, it has created challenges getting produce in the field. Even for items that are in the fields, such as strawberries planted last year (for this spring's harvest), the wet conditions have brought on issues with a variety of molds and fungi ranging from blight to leaf spot and fruit rot. For organic farmers this spring, most were caught off guard and lost a big portion of their crop. I was just reading a trade publication that showed the success of treating these conditions with steam - but that requires a costly investment in equipment to create and deliver steam in the field!
The Good Side of the Wet Spring
On the flip side, the spring rains are filling irrigation ponds and the water table, and most importantly to me as a grass based farmer grazing beef and poultry, it helps the pastures grow back quickly. Our beef are eating well right now and I'm actually struggling to get them to eat everything fast enough! By August, I will likely be doing a rain dance!