Farmers plead for help to find feed, save cattle

Here we are, near the middle of July and still looking for rain. Conditions continue to worsen and if my weather app is correct there is no significant rain in the forecast. I know I have told you before that I have a few things that normally trigger rain: washing my truck; leaving my clothes pins on the deck; putting out fresh salt and mineral; cutting hay; leaving a partial baled bale of hay in the baler. Nothing is working. I spent a lot of time last week on the phone explaining the dire situation to officials. I am hoping that we will see some type of assistance kick in. How that looks I do not know. A bigger challenge will be finding feed and they we must look at transportation and sometimes that is a nightmare. I really hate to see cattle leave the district, but I am afraid that is going to happen and most likely in a big way. The effects of this will be large, we will have farmers leave the industry altogether, it will mean less cattle at our Sales Barn and Abattoir. This is not something any of us want to see. Choosing to exit the industry is one thing but in a case like this when you don’t have the feed for your animals it is heart breaking. I have baled up the fields of mine that were decent, but I still must cover the other ones. It is painful baling short hay and it is depressing when you leave the field and don’t have many bales. I have plans to fence off some bush area in the next week or so in hopes that cows will find some feed in there. I am afraid it is going to be a challenge to get posts in the ground – the fields are hard. For the months of May, June, and July we have had 127.8 mm of rain normally by this time of the year we should be around 280 mm. Again, this is at the Research Station and after I sent out my last weather summary, I heard from a lot of people that we had a lot more rain here than them. Only to make things that much drier is these 30+ degree days.

My lawn is only growing trefoil now so we know that trefoil just might be our best species. It can withstand floods and droughts! It is prevalent in the ditches and I find myself driving thinking I wish I could harvest this or get my cows in here!

The soybeans are at a very critical stage for getting a drink of water. They will need rain to form pods and produce seed. I don’t know if that is going to happen. The canola is nearing the end of flower and it will be interesting to see if their pods end up with any seed in them. Our Winter Wheat is near harvest so we will have a chance to get our little combine out!