Drought. It is what every farmer is talking about right now. As farmers we have never experienced a drought quite like this. The effects of the heat and drought plaguing the prairies this year is extremely evident here on the farm. Grass is not growing back after the cattle and chickens have grazed, our garden is not growing and plants are starting to dry up and die. The effects of this drought on our farm were delayed slightly due to the high amount of organic matter that we have in our soil. We have worked hard over the last 29 years to grow this organic matter as it acts like a sponge absorbing the melting snow and any rain that we receive. This acts as a buffer against the effects of mild droughts and allowed us a bit more grazing time on our grass this year. However for the last month the soil has been completely depleted of any moisture and the grass has stopped growing back. Although we still have some pasture left for the cattle to graze it is hard as grass farmers to watch the grass turn yellow and not grow back. We rely on our grass to feed the cattle in the summer and winter. Normally we can graze our cattle right up to early November. Sometimes even longer if we do not get a lot of snow at the start of winter. This year however we are anticipating that the cattle will be put into their winter pasture and fed hay very early. This drought can also affect the grass we have in the spring. We are hoping for lots of fall rains, winter snow and spring rains to help replenish the very dry soil and provide us with good grass in the spring for the cattle and some good grass next year for hay. We were fortunate that this last winter we made agreements with several local organic farmers to hay their land. Although we are not getting as many bales as we would normally, we have enough organic hay land to harvest that we should be ok for the winter. Thanks to all of the customers who have reached out with questions about the drought and concerns for us and our staff working in the heat. We truly appreciate it.
Ron and Sheila
- Sunworks Farm