Sunday, October 18, 2009

Watching the Radar and Waiting

This past week was a tough one at our farm. We have corn and soybeans still in the field and it rained all week. To add to the stress the wet, cold weather was less than ideal for weaning our calves. So as we watched the dreary, fall weather this last week our thoughts were really about the crops deteriorating and our calves health.

Each morning I would go out and feed the calves. I would stand among them and watch for the early signs of sickness. I also brought out fresh bedding so they would have a dry place to lay down. We were lucky and they all made it through the week healthy. We did not have to pull a single calf and treat them.

However, if we had needed to treat them we would have used a treatment protocol prescribed by our veterinarian, designed specifically for the specific illness. Our cattle benefit from all the advances of modern veterinary medicine. The health of our cattle is first and foremost on our priority list, we do everything in our power to keep them healthy.

Meanwhile, our crops continue to deteriorate in the field and the prices continue to fluctuate. Each day and each rain means more grain on the ground. All of this while commodity brokers speculate about the condition of the crop and cause the prices to yo-yo. In other words, our paycheck can change in two ways because of the weather.

This week dawns with a couple of days of favorable weather followed by a couple more days of rain. You might ask yourself, why would anyone put themselves through this. All I can tell you is that there is a deep satisfaction felt when you realize that the crops you grow feed the world. So tomorrow we will frantically try to get as many bushels of soybeans on the trucks as we can while we hope the sun drys the calf pens out. Such is the life of a farmer or rancher.

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