Pastures are still very wet

Earlier this year when I was complaining about the weather, a few people told me the forecast was supposed to be miserable until the middle of August.
At the time, I didn’t think it was possible, but I’m now thinking that they were right!
I had intentions of cutting hay last Friday but it rained, and then it rained again Saturday. I cannot believe how wet the pastures are and how much mess that cattle are making punching up the ground with their hooves.
When you drive the four-wheeler around, the water is shooting up from the tires.
Most years by now, the wet areas have turned to cement. But that’s not the case this year.
Meanwhile, the deer flies and bull-dogs are out in full force now so the cattle have turned to huddling up trying to find some relief from the nasty pests. Even though I prefer summer, I do think the cattle have it a bit better in the winter without all the insects.
I purchased a bug zapper and was hoping to use it around the dog kennel or the rabbit/sheep shelters since they seem to have a fair share of bugs bothering them this year, as well.
• • •
We finally were able to start harvesting forages at the Emo Agricultural Research Station. I’m completely shocked and amazed at how much damage we experienced from the recent hail.
From the few trials we have finished, we’ve likely seen our yields reduced by half. In the alfalfa plots, for instance, the leaves are stripped and we are harvesting stems.
And in our pasture trials, the dense undergrowth is packed to the ground and is too flat to be picked up by our machines.
I understand around the Sturgeon Creek School area, they were hit badly by hail, as well, and I’m feeling very sorry for any farmers’ fields that were hit as hard as we were here at the station.
Our other crops are coming along slowly, but we are seeing some very harsh effects from all the rain. Normally by now, our cereal crops would be all headed out–but not this year.
Things are much delayed and I sure hope the predictions are for a long, pleasant fall!
• • •
I’m very concerned about how hard this year will be on district agriculture and I’m thankful that local MP John Rafferty took the time to have a visit with a few producers about the effects of our extreme year.
This is going to affect income in a big way.
Personally, I’m going stir crazy! Not that I don’t have a ton of bookwork to tackle, but at this time of the year I’m programmed to just ride a tractor.
And, of course, I always think the worst—such as “What if I can’t make hay and I have to sell all my cows?” How sad would that be!
• • •
We’ve been fortunate to have family visit us this month! Earlier this month, I was able to meet my new cousin, Vienna, who was visiting with her mom and dad (Tanis and Vaughn) all the way from Toronto!
Then over the weekend, our cousin John and Joanne from Ottawa, and another cousin Barry and Cindy from beautiful British Columbia, came to visit. It was the first time I met Barry and Cindy and it was a great visit.
So I guess on the bright side if I was haying, I wouldn’t have had time to visit!
It is sure great to have people visit the great northwest and see just what a great place it is to live, work, and play!
• • •
A reminder to mark your calendars for our annual open house and soil and crop tour set for Thursday, July 31.
The open house at the station will begin at 7 p.m. We have a really exciting tour planned throughout the day with a bunch of special guests!
You won’t want to miss it this year!
And did you get your tickets yet for the inaugural “Harmony of Nations” Music Festival in Fort Frances? Be sure to put that on your list!

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