While rain is a good thing – and I never want to complain about getting rain – too much is too much, and that’s what’s been happening in the Ozarks recently.
A great deal of the Ozarks region isn’t known for crop production, but many of those who do make a living row cropping couldn’t get into their fields to plant, or that they were able to plant has been flooded out and washed away. We’re not the only ones hit by the rains. I read somewhere that this year will be the latest crops will get into the ground since 1984.
To add insult to injury, federal disaster aid, according to Reuters, will not cover crops stored from last year that were washed away. There is apparently no program to cover the mostly uninsured stored-crop losses.
The Ozarks isn’t the only area impacted by the rains and floods. Bill and I were up around Jefferson City, Mo., recently and it was hard to miss the Mighty Mo consuming farmland and nearby businesses.
We’ve had some breaks in the weather to cut hay in the Ozarks, but there have been days when a 20-percent chance of a shower turned into a monsoon in the blink of an eye.
We had to replace a little fence recently, but we had to wait for it to dry out just to drive posts. The soft soil allowed the corner post, which is at least 4 foot in the ground, to inch ever so slightly with the pull of the new wire.
Some of the recent rounds of storms have caused flooding powerful enough to carry away equipment, round bales of hay and livestock. A friend in Arkansas posted a video on social media of part of her family’s herd being swept away when the White River overflowed, carrying them miles from their home pasture. It was heartbreaking to watch, so I can only imagine the feeling of helplessness they had as the current took the cows away. There has also been a report of a home or two being swept away, as well as loss of life.
We should all brace for an increase in prices this year on any product with a connection to corn and soybeans, because of flooding in the Corn Belt, including livestock feed.
Farmers and ranchers should be used to unpredictable weather patterns, but each storm and front brings new challenges. Mother Nature has a way of keeping us on our toes – and she always has the last word when it comes to weather.
As we venture into the summer months, I hope the rains slow, but not shut completely off. I have often been told that in the Ozarks we are never more than 10 days away from a drought, and I am a believer in that statement, so I hope the weather pattern in the coming weeks and months keeps us out of the drought index, but I don’t want it to be replaced by high water marks.
When the rains stopped last summer, we saw reductions in livestock herds and flocks, and another drought may mean the end for some producers – as can another round of flooding.
So friends and neighbors, I will keep a prayer on my lips for all who are fighting Mother Nature.
Julie Turner-Crawford is a native of Dallas County, Mo., where she grew up on her family’s farm. She is a graduate of Missouri State University. To contact Julie, call 1-866-532-1960 or by email at [email protected].