This title of this blog post about sums it up. It is the hottest, driest year we have had in around a century. Devastating can accurately describe conditions here at the farm. The hot winds have ripped the pastures of any moisture. No moisture = No grass = Unhappy cattle. Of course, our cows look all fat and full only because we feed them pretty round bales of hay and supplement with cubes and corn. From an Ag standpoint the lack of rain is like a brutal silent attack on the land. What should be green pastures are brown pastures with cracks big enough for you to get lost in. The winds have been constant. The dust blows. The rattlesnakes are out in force. What should be beautiful, is not. Farming and ranching is not for the faint of heart. Farmers and ranchers work hard on a good year and they work extra hard making sure their livestock is well fed and cared for on a bad year. The lost crops will mean a thin budget for most next year and hopes that spring 2012 will bring rain so the planted crops will make. Farming and ranching is like being in a game in Vegas. Some years you win and others you loose your pants. This is surely one of those “lose your pants years”. My heart goes out to all the farmers who are hurting across the U.S. due to dry conditions and those who have lost crops and livestock due to flooding. If you are reading this and not a rancher or farmer and tonight will enjoy a nice big fat piece of steak please remember to thank a rancher! Same if you are enjoying a food grown by a farmer.
These have been temps for weeks now here at farm. Just enough heat and wind to dry everything up.
This is a result of our hot temps. This pretty little tank is completely dry for nearly the first time ever. Cows really missing this one. It is close to farm house and they use it to cool off in. They just lost their swimming hole.
Our ranch is in area where the heat has just been extreme. These temps have been consistent for the last few weeks. The place is a tinderbox. Who can enjoy these conditions for any length of time? “Hotter Than Hell” certainly applies.
In this extreme drought we are taking the opportunity to make sure all livestock and wildlife are taken care of. Cattle, donkey’s, goats all have plenty of fresh water and food every single day. We are putting out record amounts of corn to make sure all the deer have plenty to eat also. I am sure every other kind of wildlife get a taste of the corn also. We have a special area fenced off for the deer so that they always have a place to eat that the cows have not already grazed. We are also putting out lots of birdseed and have purchased 4 new feeders so that they have lots of food. We also buy big bags and throw out in protected places for all the birds. All extra and old food goes outside to feed whatever animal wants to eat it. To those who live the rural life it is so much more than just the cows, goats, sheep, horses, donkey’s. Farmers and ranchers are also protectors of all wildlife. Yes, you definitely need to thank your local rancher and farmer.
This is one of our new squirrel proof feeders. The birds are loving this one!