Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Let's talk about the weather

So this weather sucks huh? Its hot then it's cold...kinda reminds you of a Katy Perry song. I hear my friends all across the state and the nation, complaining how they wish they could just wear their spring and summer clothes, or the weather ruins their plans for outdoor fun. Obviously that is a concern here as well but it goes even further than that. In my rural community it's really smacking us around. With the freeze, our wheat may not make it. Wheat is a very hardy crop, but right now, it's looking pretty rough. Wilted and yellowed from the freeze. Levi assures me if we get some heat and a little moisture things will perk up a bit. A small ray of hope. The fall crops, like corn and milo, don't stand a chance. A few farmers are saying they're not even going to try and plant unless we get a rain. And by rain I mean slow and steady for days...that just doesn't happen in Western Kansas. 

To hear someone complain about too much rain, makes me want to puke. Every time someone complains how this weather is messing with their clothing choices, I want to yell obscenities. This weather will not only affect my community by creating a tightening of budgets across the board. If the farmers lose money on their crops, they don't buy as many things or go out of town to get cheaper deals from WalMart. Then the local businesses aren't as willing to sponsor community events, youth fundraisers, local charities. Nor are they able to look at expansions and updates to their businesses. As one of those local non-profits who needs community support, things are about to get rough! 

On the other hand, this is going to affect the nation's food supply. Wheat prices will go up according to the laws of supply and demand. Without abundant fall crops, it will become more expensive to feed cattle. If you don't know, feedlots, like the big one in my county, rely heavily on corn and silage from local farmers to feed the cattle. I'll begin to hear my city "friends" complain about how their food prices are going up. Yeah remember when you were so concerned about your damn clothes? When all someone sees is concrete and people, I want to suggest they come visit me. I'll show them the land and the stars and air in a way they've never experienced it and then maybe they'll understand.

I'm so proud to be part of a farming community that is responsible for feeding America and the world. But as people complain about the inconvenience to their daily routine, I want them to remember the struggles we face. Our economy will take a hit, people worry constantly about the weather patterns while knowing there's not a damn thing they can do about it. The stress and risk of farm and ranch life is high, but it's rewarding. When it's all you've known and the land is part of your soul, you keep trucking, you stay attached and you make sure you have your damn winter coat handy.

Words of Wisdom: “Farming is a profession of hope” - Brian Brett

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