As I sit here writing this post there’s a steady rain falling outside. The windows are partially open. And I keep getting up to check whether the rain is getting inside. But I can’t bring myself to close them completely, because we’ve hardly been able to open them all spring.
When the sun does come out, it doesn’t last very long. The grass is barely dry before the distant sound of thunder starts. Sure, we’ve had a few sunny days. And I’ve managed to plant my garden between showers. But it just keeps raining.
If you follow any other farm bloggers from the Midwest, I’m sure you’ve seen the constant complaints about the weather. I know, farmers complain about the weather every year. But the rain this year has seriously messed up plant19.
And it’s more than just a lot of rainfall. It’s also the weather pattern. Honestly, I’m not even sure we’ve had a record amount of rain. But we never have enough sun and dry weather to dry out the fields. It’s three days of rain, one of sun. Or three days of sun and rain mixed. We can’t get in the fields with the equipment if it’s muddy. So we usually need a good day or two (or more in fields with heavier soil) without rain before we can try planting. Otherwise, the tractor and planter get stuck. (Yes, we’ve gotten stuck this spring.)
And we’re up against the clock. The drop-dead date for planting corn is June 5th. If we plant beyond that date, we won’t be eligible for crop insurance. Considering how the weather has been so far, I’m not sure whether that’s a great risk to take or not. Also, the later we plant, the later we have to harvest. We can get snow in October in Michigan. So maybe we don’t even get the crop harvested.
The forecast for the rest of the week calls for rain. Every. Single. Day.
Honestly, I don’t see how we get it done. And that’s going to be true for a lot of farmers this year. I’m worried about how it turns out. We still have to pay the mortgage or rent, taxes, insurance, equipment loans, input costs and all the rest. Those burdens on top of an already-bad economy…. that’s rough.