Seems like we have lived through high temperatures and drought conditions with high fire dangers before! Almost seems like last summer never ended. It is easy to forget the blessing God gave us here in Southwest Oklahoma for the rain and conditions through the winter that promoted our blessing of a wheat crop. So easily we can forget what He has done for us; instead, we just complain about what we need from Him. I am confident He will continue to grow us and change us through this season as well…
With that being said, life on the farm is never ending – come rain, shine or drought! We have cleaned seed wheat recently. We have enough on-farm storage to almost plant our wheat acres twice. It takes about 3 days to clean the wheat in 2 locations and in several different bins. Jarrett Orrell is a college graduate who is trying to find his fit back in the ag sector. He does a great job and has cleaned our wheat the last 3 years.
We have been running the no-till ripper like crazy. We try to rip about 1/3 of our acres every year. It takes about 2 weeks about 14 hours a day to get over about 2000 acres. Ripping takes a lot of time at just 19 feet per pass.
We still have water at all the pastures, but we are having to shift some cattle around for grass. I take that back – I put out the first solar pump this morning. The grass seems to be going backwards quickly. The pastures that were sprayed for weeds and received some “rest” seem to still be holding well. The pastures that have been grazed hard or didn’t get sprayed are just plain weedy! I know feed prices are getting high and several of our friends especially in the eastern side of the state are scrambling for hay and reasonable feed sources for the winter. A farmer/rancher’s job is almost half predictions of the future. It seems like if you plan right you can hit a home run on prices and be protected for several years, but if you don’t, it seems like you struggle for a couple just to make up what you lost that one year.
Speaking of prices – with the global drought conditions, crop prices are climbing higher and higher. I am not really complaining of that. I have only sold minimal wheat so far and looking like I will be holding the wheat for a while longer. With corn and wheat climbing and the world surplus stocks getting smaller, it should also increase our grocery bills. What happens in the agriculture sector affects all aspects of life across the world!
Our church is in vacation Bible school this week. Amy and I are teaching the soon-to-be 5th graders. Every day we watch a video about a missionary somewhere in the world. Last night we watched a video about the missionaries in Madagascar and about some of the remote villages that have NOTHING. We watched as some planted by hand and some were fortunate enough with some sponsorship to have 2 cows to pull a plow behind. Showing that most kids start working in the fields with heavy labor at around age five! Although my kids are farm kids and have their own responsibilities to pull their weight on the farm, they are blessed enough to also have time to be carefree kids. It’s just amazing watching the families and villages trying to farm with 1920’s technology when I am running large tractors that drive themselves thanks to current agriculture technology. God has blessed us on where we live. I could have easily have been born in much poorer country without the knowledge or means to farm like we do.