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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Winding Roads: Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I don't particularly remember the drought of 1956 due to the fact I was concerned about making money for college and having a good time with friends before we parted our way. My family lived in town and I was totally unaware of what the lack of rain does to farmers. This is probably true for many folks who live in town and don't make a living from the soil.

Presently, we could have a gentle rain fall steadily for two to three days before the ground would be replenished. Weeds always seem to survive and flourish regardless but the grass in our yard is quite brown. Every other week is soon enough to be mowing. Crops may look green but the soybean pods aren't filling as well even though soybeans can take heat better than corn. The corn ears need rain to fill out and in the last 10 days, the development of the size of the ears will no doubt be smaller or not fully developed when harvested.

What makes this worrisome for many is the input costs for planting added up quicker this year with fertilizer and chemical costs greater as well as the fuel and seed needs. It's true that the per bushel price for each may increase but it is offset by the strong possibility of a smaller yield. Rarely do farmers get high prices and good yields the same year.

All this means is that they are cautious about spending and are out there looking for deals. Therefore many agri businesses are also taking a hit as farmers try to reduce spending and keep to the basics.

Furthermore, the groceries are elevating in price like everything else due to transportation costs. Our society, including myself, isn't fully aware of how fuel is used in so many products and processes to get goods in stores for us to purchase.

We do have the luxury of raising gardens to supplement our food needs but not that many folks are doing it. It would be a terrific method of keeping children busy with the weeding and picking as opposed to them complaining that there isn't anything to do. Home grown produce would be one major way of reducing the food budget and have more funds to pay home heating costs and gas for the vehicles. You just don't see kids outside playing as they are glued to computers and TV's. Then parents pay out for them to participate in various activities such as specialty camps. Years ago, we'd just go out and play on a vacant lot and honed in on sport skills in that environment.

With the lack of rain, higher costs and so forth, many will have to start a juggling act in order to make the family budget work for them. Let's all go out and wash windows and cars to ensure a decent rainfall. As I write this the sidewalks are barely wet. Maybe if I ignore it, a downpour will ensue. I surely do hope so.