In my younger suburban years the weather and whether it rained or not was all about my personal life and when it needed to be a nice day due to whatever it was I was doing. I never thought for a minute about how much farmers depend on it for their crops and ultimately for the livelihood that supported their families.
Yes, we all pray for beautiful days when we have an outdoor event scheduled whether it be a picnic, a wedding, a graduation party, etc., but in the grand scheme of things our lives didn’t depend on it, it’s just the needs for that day. I’ll admit I still hope for good weather days for outdoor activities, but my whole outlook on Mother Nature has changed after meeting my farmer.
For a grain farmer the weather is a vital component of the success of the crops they plant and it directly effects their family income for the year. Farmers lives revolve around the seasons and Mother Nature. Talk about the ultimate gamble when it comes to supporting your family.
Farmers need dry times in the spring to get their crops in, followed by some rain for the grain seeds to germinate. Once the seeds begin to germinate at some point the farmers need a dry spell again so the plants root deep into the soil in search of ground water. From what My Farmer has hold me the root of a field corn plant is miles long, which helps it get the water it needs when it’s dry on the surface.
Farmers also need an equal amount of rainy days as they do dry hot days for those who bale and cut hay. After the hay is cut it needs time to dry out before being baled into square or round bales. My Farmer can’t bale wet hay, because mold will then have the opportunity to grow. We sure don’t want that!
In the harvesting season the farmers need another dry spell to enable them to get the crops out of the field. Harvesting can’t happen with wet ground & wet plants. What a muddy mess that would be!
The weather is just one component in the science of grain farming and hay baling.
What’s the biggest factor in your livelihood?