Friday, July 13, 2012

Channeling Longfellow

In every life a little rain must fall
Some days must be dark and dreary.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I'd like to hold Mr. Longfellow to that thought at the moment. We need some rain. We got a very brief shower last weekend. There wasn't enough to measure in our backyard rain gauge. Some places in Central Kansas got measurable precipitation. I'm glad for them - even if I'm a little jealous, too.

We are in a severe drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. On July 3, Governor Sam Brownback placed all 105 Kansas counties into a drought stage.  There are now 36 counties in Emergency, 55 in Warning and 14 in Watch.

Even though we got a little relief from the triple-digit temperatures this week, it didn't end the need for rain. The respite was short-lived. The 7-day forecast is back to 100-plus every day. (Of course, the Stafford County Fair starts this coming week, so it's inevitably hot!) Kansas Agricultural Statistics Service reported major declines in the condition of the state's spring-planted crops, including corn, soybeans and sorghum. The double-crop milo planted behind our house has come up, but it's not very big and it needs a rain to fill the heads. 

Randy and Jake started putting alfalfa down for the third cutting this week. However, Randy says there's not enough alfalfa to make a windrow at some locations, including the field south of our house.

It's made some really pretty blooms, but the substance just isn't there to make hay for our cattle.

Last fall, we sold off feeder calves and didn't carry them through the winter. What will happen this year? Randy hasn't decided yet. But, if the National Weather Service is right, it doesn't look particularly hopeful.

For more information from the National Weather Service, click here.

Isn't it strange that greetings cards and poets all equate rain as undesirable? They've never lived on a Kansas farm, I suppose. I'm praying for rain.


  1. Kim, I think I saw or read that 25 or 26 States have declared drought disasters.

    We enjoyed our very mild winter, but should have seen a problem coming. No snow means no moisture reserves and that is hurting us too.

    Winter wheat harvest has started up here.

    1. The drought is definitely widespread. Good luck with wheat harvest!