We finally got the rain we have been praying for. I am relieved because it will help our soybeans finish growing this fall. The rain is too late for the corn, I’m afraid, but at least we can get some beans and some hay out of it. Plus, it will replenish the groundwater deficit. It also made my lawn turn a shade of green that I haven’t seen in more than a month!
Speaking of rain, I am feeling very sad for the farmers and ranchers in Colorado who were affected by the rain and flooding there. Many of them probably don’t have flood insurance, so they may be paying for the damage out of their own pockets. It’s going to be very bad for many of them who have lost their buildings and equipment, or even their livestock. I hope all of them can recover and get back to farming, though many of them are going to have to go deep into debt to get started again.
Here at our place, we’ve still been busy chopping corn silage in between rain showers. There were several days when my husband, Robb, had to stop chopping because the tractors were getting stuck while trying to pull the loaded wagons out of the fields. As dry as it's been, even a little rain on the surface makes the whole field slick, and pulling several tons of chopped corn becomes almost impossible or downright dangerous.
We’ll keep chopping until the calls stop coming, and we’re going as fast as we can — believe me! The chopper hardly has time to cool off at night before it’s fired up the next morning.
The pigs are all gone from the hog buildings now. The guys have been in to pressure-wash and disinfect the barns, so they are all ready for new pigs. The new babies are coming today, so we have been enjoying the lack of hog chores for a few days.
Our next big project will be fall roundup. That comes at the beginning of October when we bring in all the cattle for weaning calves, fall shots and de-worming, plus checking cows for pregnancy. It’s always a big weekend, but thanks to many friends, we can get it done and still have fun. We still believe in the decades-old cowboy and farmer ethic of helping out your friends and neighbors. And they, in return, help you. Our friends come to help on the farm, and we help them with their hay or their roof, or plow their snow or care for their animals when they are away or build fences or whatever they might need. Friends and neighbors are important.
Not much more to write about today. Enjoy these first few days of fall, and the cooler weather that goes with them. Please keep your eyes peeled for farmers on the roads late into the evening. Harvest season is upon us. You may begin to see combines and grain carts on the roads soon. Please yield the right-of-way and pass with care.
Jennifer Ewoldt, DVM, and her husband, Robb, are farmers in the Quad-Cities. Her column about life on the farm is published every other Monday.