Sunday, August 12, 2007


The record books will not show the small drought we experienced in early to late summer. We had near record rainfall through early May and then the tap went dry. Very dry. We had everything watered by mid to late July and then scurried away on vacation. The plan was to return and continue pumping water after the trip. We were in Garden City Ks the first night and on rising we called home and were informed that thursday night the 19th of August it rained 1.25" back home. On the following thursday another 1.30". Then 2.25" on the 7th of this month and then .90" on the 10th and now 1.5 this afternoon the 12th. A total of 7.2" in 24 days. It has begun to rain easily. If this rain continues to fall, I'm going to get way behind on my irrigating.
I put this up in an effort to document this for my future reference. No other reason.
Nothing can make, or for that matter ruin a farmers vacation quicker than the news that it rained back home. If rain is needed, the news will make you float on air for a few days and no one can charge you enough for gas or a hotel room to ruin that giddy feeling.
If you don't need the rain, and it rains a lot doing damage to your crop, the same news can make you want to fly home and have the family bring the car.
Farming is alluring to some because you are your own boss. That's true. That just means instead of asking someone else what they think, you have to make the everyday decisions from what is ricocheting around in your head. Is it too wet to till the soil? To dry? Which implement should I use? Which tractor? How am I going to pay for that? Should I start irrigating?
To the person with no farm experience, it would appear to be pretty complicated. Experience answers most of your questions for you. It could take an hour to explain why you did something a certain way. But the decision may not have been made by reasoning but rather by remembering how much trouble you caused by doing it the wrong way last time..
Farming boils down to be just like a lot of other occupations. You'll do okay if you can pay attention, and remember your mistakes. You may remember my explanation of education. Education is the method we've developed for keeping track of the mistakes.


ptg said...

Thats a good way to 'get behind' on your irrigating. Too wet to plow, too windy to haul rocks...

Peter said...

Sure hope it stops raining in time for you to catch up on your irritating Cliff.

Rachel said...

Did Peter mean to say "irritating?"

It's dry here and we could use a little rain.

Being a farmer you have to go along with Mother Nature and work that all into the plan. It's tough I know. We take what we get and deal with it. I imagine you deal with it pretty good Cliff. After all you have been farmng now for what...??....60 years or so??

Okay....KIDDING! Just KIDDING Cliff!!!

Are you going to work chores into Blogstock? After all many hands make quick work!

Jamie Dawn said...

With our 14 years of experience growing mandarins, then planting 20 more acres and worrying about them too, I can understand the frustration and terror that weather can bring.
It truly can make or break you.
My mom markets almonds, and that company goes through the same roller coaster ride with the weather at the helm of the ups and downs.
Learning from mistakes and from others who are older and wiser in the business is what helped us stay afloat. When we sold the ranch, a huge weight lifted from all our shoulders, especially my hubby's since he carried the most burden dealing with it all.
I wish you had rain when you wanted it and no rain when you didn't want it... but I know that's NOT how nature works.

LZ Blogger said...

Cliff ~ I love this one... "Education is the method we've developed for keeping track of the mistakes." In my business we say; "A specialist is someone who knows more & more about less & less, until they know absolutely everything about absolutely nothing!"
So... you may be well on your way to becoming a "Farming Specialist" position RIGHT NOW! ~ jb///

Ralph's Homespun Headlines said...

Great post my friend. We'll talk about it when I see you.
But I am serious his was a great, great post.

Jerry said...

I just got back from Illinois. The crops there look very good. Very lush and green. Ours look just awful. It's already too late for the's all dried up.

Even if you do everything right, sometimes Mother Nature just won't cooperate.

Maria said...

I remember as a child we spent summers on a small lake surrounded by farms and if I think back, the conversations always started with weather.

Loved your comment about education. It sums it up rightly!

Angie said...

LOVED your education comment, as I'm facing my own education dilemna, it rings quite true!!

I don't know a thing about farming, but my maternal gramps was a farmer with a dairy route....that sums up my

Lee said...

Boy! We need rain badly, desperately down this way. It's so very, very dry. And unfortunately, there is no sign of this drought breaking any time soon.

Miki said...

Well, glad that you keep track of your mistakes, Cliff. Hope that you don't get any more unnecessary rain!

Paul said...

I remember your stories about all the mud you had last spring.

JunieRose2005 said...

This is a very good post Cliff!

I enjoyed reading all the comments too.

So- true- that last line...and it applies to all parts of our lives.