Texas farmers use business wile to weather drought
2006 to 2011 summery and 2012 is looking little better. The few rains we have received this spring were helpful, but, not anywhere near a drought busting rain event.
It’s nearing the 1st of June 2012, rains have stopped, I have had 5 days above 100 degrees in May. What little grass there is has stopped growing and is turning brown from heat and lack of rain stress.
This years wheat crop has been cut averaging around 20 bushels an acre, About the break even point for wheat growers. Cows and calf’s are being pushed through sales rings in an effort to thin herds before farmers are forced to buy hay for feeding and haul water daily to keep them healthy.
Linda Galayda hauled water and flagged down truck drivers to ask about their hay. She sold calves and young cows and made her son leave their East Texas family ranch for a job in San Antonio, Texas.
Bob and Darlene Stryk heeded lessons from a dry spell 16 years ago and kept their 130-year-old farm afloat by selling higher-priced, specialty products like raw milk and cheddar cheese before the drought forced them to make their most difficult decision yet.
A drought that parched the vast Texas and Oklahoma landscape, sucking dry ponds, lakes and reservoirs and severely damaging soil and grasslands, traumatized farmers and ranchers. Like their ancestors who survived the Dust Bowl and the 7 year dry spell of the 1950s will tell tales about this drought for generations.
Galayda actually flagged down trucks that were carrying quality hay … and asked them ‘Where’s this hay coming from? Cows that weren’t pregnant, heifers or young females with the smallest deficiency and other any less than perfect bovine was sold.
A first in Darlene and Bob Stryk’s 26-year marriage their hay barn was empty and the pond was mud, also a first since the Stryk family purchased the farm in 1882.
This drought that began has yet to eclipse the infamous dry spell of the 1950s, a bleak period when the skies stubbornly withheld moisture. It was the state’s worst drought ever.
Pete Bonds said “I hope this is not going to be like the drought of the ’50s, he has cattle ranches in 27 Texas counties. He recalls how the extreme dry weather wicked away the water levels in creeks, ponds and lakes.” From 1949 to 1957, Texas and southwest Oklahoma got 30 to 50 percent less rain than normal, and temperatures were above average. In search of grazing land, many Texas ranchers took their cattle to Kansas.
Not from the USA. Please leave me comment about your home town and country.
Why is common sense so uncommon?
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