Hello from Graze-N-Grow. I imagine by now, with our last 2-inch rain and more forecasted, the corn planting is over for the year in our area. Ours finally got in last week and is just now emerging. I don’t think I’ve been stuck more times in the last few decades than this spring, but our row crops are in. It has been a relief to have the majority of our acres in pasture, especially this year, and the animals have covered all of it at least once by now.

I had thought about having some of it baled, but no luck so far. Some has been put up in the area with mixed results rain-wise, but for those who raise livestock and rely on hay instead of pasture, it’s been a blessing. I watched our local sale barn supply two weeks ago go from $9 to over $12 a bale for decent stuff. I believe I will just let the sheep and cattle trample mine and feed the soil microbes and leave the baler in the shed.

We will, however, bale and wrap the oats and peas, hopefully before milk stage since there is a good stand of ryegrass and red clover underneath. The oats aren’t more than knee-high now, but the peas have fared better and are mid-thigh so far. Last year, it was mostly oats in the bale with the same mix.

We recently weaned the winter-born ram lambs, and I’m impressed with the lambs from the rams I got from Randy down at Camp Point. We’ve been a closed flock since 2006, but I talked to a rancher in Nebraska with the White Dorper/Romanov cross on hair ewes like our Katahdins and increases in carcass quality plus lambing percentages made it seem attractive. Heterosis seems to be working, on carcass quality at least. We will see about lambing percentages next spring when I lamb out the ewe lambs.

Along with the farming challenges of getting crops in, the same problem for gardeners had put a damper on Ruth’s greenhouse business. Many have been waiting for planting conditions to improve before taking their plants home and they are growing so big in the greenhouses it’s become a forest in there. Many have finally got theirs in the ground by now, but some have given up so now Ruth had me till up a larger garden so she could maybe sell them the veggies later if she can’t sell them the plants now.

I don’t think there is a prevent plant bailout for her gardening friends, and just like the farmers, for seed suppliers, there is no bailout for all that returned seed. In spite of the great weather challenge this spring, farmers are blessed to have that option. Too bad our suppliers don’t. I’m glad I’m not in charge of the weather since I can make a mess of more minor things, so I think I will leave it in more capable hands and look forward to the results with anticipation. I hope all of you can find the rainbow in this spring’s clouds. Happy trails.

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