Why Farmers Always Talk About the Weather

Awful hot this week.

Ever notice how weather is a pretty consistent topic of small talk? Especially among farmers and country folk? Well that's because for those in the country, and particularly for farmers, it's not just small talk. It's serious stuff. Almost invariably, the subject of conversation between us and our farming friends will turn to the weather at some point. That's because the weather has a very direct impact on every aspect of our business and work lives. To complicate things further, 'good' weather isn't always good. And 'bad' weather isn't always bad. Sometimes what's good for one farmer is even bad for another. In all cases, it greatly affects planning. Farming is the act of growing something, and growth is driven by the weather. Need more sun. Need more rain. Too much rain. Rain at the wrong time. Heat at the wrong time. Too cold, too hot, too complicated. I'll use this year as an example. This was a fairly dry spring, and the snow melted early. That's great for working the soil early in the year, and for getting crops in. For us, it seemed great for getting into the garden. Last year was so wet with so much snow that we were late getting into the garden. But this year we've actually had so little rain that it's tough to get anything to germinate. This year is very different than last year, but not really any 'better'. Grass has also been growing slowly. That's great for not having to mow the lawn, but not so great when your cows LIVE ON grass. For example ast year we turned them out on pasture by mid to late may. Now we're going into June and still feeding hay so that we can give the grass a chance to get ahead. Grazing it too early can set it back for the whole summer. Too little rain means slow growth. Too much rain means the cattle are eating more water in the plant than nutrition. Then there's the May heat wave this week. This kind of heat normally comes in the middle of the summer and encourages grass to go to seed (which means it stops growing cow food to save energy for seeds). If we get some rain now and the grass shoots up and quickly goes to seed it could mean much less grass grown this summer. That means although we have the same amount of land as last year, we might have much less grass for the cattle. Or depending how things go, maybe we'll end up with more. Who knows? That's why farmers love to talk about the weather. Everyone loves to complain a bit in life, and for farmers there is unlimited complaining to be done about the weather. It's almost always wrong, and certainly never perfect. Seems there's no 'good weather' in farming the same way there's 'good weather' in the rest of life. There's usually only the weather we've got too much of, and the weather we really need. But we hope you're enjoying your early summer! And firing up those BBQs! We're fully stocked with beef right now, so if you'd like to place an order for ground beef, roasts, or grilling steaks just get in touch. Willie & Jorie & Wallace

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