Thursday, June 2, 2011

Rain and Uncertainty

For much of this spring we have been in an extended dry spell. That allowed us to get our work done quickly but it did inspire quite a bit of apprehension among my fellow farmers and ranchers. The weather report on the 10 o'clock news became more and more vital and more and more disappointing each night. However, that worry about dry weather quickly disappeared and was replaced by a new worry.

Over the last week we have received enough rain to bring us back to normal or a little above. Just yesterday and last night we received about 5 inches of rain. This led to a lot of flooding and damage to our crops and the flood gaps across our streams and ditches. It also means lots of expenses from replanting and repairs. But that is all part of the cost of doing business.

I jokingly tell people that the middle between the two extremes is where our averages come from. The weather is both one of the best and the worst things about farming and ranching.
My wise old Father tells me that it does no good to worry about the weather and the older I get the more I understand.

The apprehension of missing rains and watching crops wither quickly turns to relief with the first rainfall. However, it also quickly returns to apprehension as the rain continues to fall. Even though we know there is nothing we can do, I would guess many of my fellow farmers and ranchers pace and watch like I do.

So why be a part of a business where the best plans can be thwarted by something you can't control? I guess it all comes back to the fact that farming and ranching are more than a business. None of us farm and ranch to get rich, we chose this profession because it is in our blood, it is part of us. We suffer through the lows and revel in the highs because feeding the world is our passion. Along with that the uncertainty that the weather brings is just part of the core of who we are.

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