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August 20, 2012

Exceptional Drought and Coping With Reality

I want to thank all of our subscribers for your positive comments and support during this exceptional drought that we have been experiencing. I just didn't know if I was going to be able to make it though this terrible time, but I am truly grateful to each of you that gave me support.

Many small farmers have sold out and say they are not going to buy back, but there are some of us that are trying to hold onto our livestock and make it through these trying times.

I have done a terrible job of rotational grazing simply because there is NO grass. I've had to buy hay from 300 miles away just to make it through this cruel some summer.

Now it time to assess our farms and define those areas of weakness. Get with your county CES or NRCS reps and talk with them about what to do when the rain comes. It will come...August has brought some rain my way and pastures are beginning to green up some, but it won't be enough I've been told.

If water has been a limiting factor for you this summer, make plans to put in a water system. I personally believe a well/water lines are much better than ponds. It stays fresh, clean and cool. My baby calves and cows love well water.

The next item to think about is shade. I cringe many times when I see farmers pull a dozer into a pasture and take away all the trees. Trees provide great shade and hold moisture in it's roots. Many farmers use portable shades but I prefer the real thing. Think about planting more trees in your pasture land.

Next, I want you to think about the compostion of your pasture land. This fall is a good time to assess and reseed those pastures. Don't forget about planting legumes which provide added nitrogen.


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To you and your success,

Steve Robinson"

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