Fall Visitor

Fall Visitor

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Million Dollar Rains

 
Randy says these timely spring rains are "million dollar rains." Now, before anyone starts lining up for a loan, he's not saying that it will put a million dollars in our bank account. But after a dry winter, the 6 inches of gentle rain we've had during the past month will improve the Kansas wheat harvest overall. (And, on a personal note, it will help pay down our operating loan at the bank.)

This latest rain brought another inch of valuable moisture to our 2016 wheat crop.
 
 The cool temperatures have been ideal for filling the wheat heads with grain.
 
 Our alfalfa fields are looking much more lush and productive than they did earlier this spring.
  
Randy plans to start putting down alfalfa next week, depending on the weather forecast.
Earlier, we had the co-op spray the hay fields with insecticides after they were being chomped by weevils. An army of ladybugs is now feasting on aphids in the alfalfa.
The rains have provided the moisture Randy needs to plant forage sorghum and some milo. That's on the agenda for today.
I took this photo last week when Randy was having to replant in a corn field.
Since we are dryland farmers, our 2016 corn crop wouldn't have happened without the April rain, and the subsequent rains have helped bring it up.
Peace Creek during the "golden hour"
The rains also have helped fill ponds and creeks, as well as bolstering the grass in our pastures, where are cows and their calves are "vacationing" for the summer. 
 
And, speaking of "vacations," my farmer likes spending his time off at the golf course. The spring rains have really made the Stafford course look beautiful.

Some people complain about rainy days. But for farm families, a good, gentle rain is just about the best antidepressant there is.

12 comments:

  1. Yep rain is what it's all about. Here in western Washington we are the rainy side of the state while Eastern Washington is the dry and even desert side. Lots of farming and ranching on the east side and the praying for rain and if we don't get a good snow pack in the mountains even we on the wet side will be feeling the pinch in summer and fall.
    Love your interesting and informative blog Kim.
    MB

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rain is definitely the life blood of farming. Thanks!

      Delete
  2. Absolutely brilliant news. May the harvest continue to prosper.
    Just love your lady bird shots.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! There were a lot of them in the alfalfa field. But I had to search for awhile before I found one on a purple bloom. Finally, success!

      Delete
  3. I do agree with your sentiments wholeheartedly that "a good, gentle rain is just about the best antidepressant there is". And I am so glad that you are receiving some of it.

    BTW it is lovely to read that Randy is out on the golf course every so often. Getting off farm is very good for the soul.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He sure enjoys it! For me, playing golf is torture. As Mark Twain says, "It is a good walk ruined." However, I don't mind going along for the ride on a beautiful day.

      Delete
  4. Great photos of the lady bugs! Ok, this might be a dumb question, but does dry land farming mean that you farm in dry conditions and don't irritate?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great photos of the lady bugs! Ok, this might be a dumb question, but does dry land farming mean that you farm in dry conditions and don't irritate?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Irrigate...not irritate! :)

      Delete
    2. We do not irrigate. (Randy might say I irritate some days - ha!) My parents and brother who farm in the county south of us do. We are near the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, which is known for its salt marshes. Our groundwater is high in salt. There is not a lot of irrigation where we are, though there is in other parts of the county.

      Delete