As I sit down to type this I hear the thunder claps getting closer and closer. I should be jumping for joy over the potential of rain, but I am praying that the rains hold off just a few more hours.

This summer has been a doozie for our farm. We had an optimistic outlook in May.

drought, flood, farmer, 2012, picture, Minnesota, Organic Valley

Then it flooded in June.

drought, flood, farmer, 2012, picture, Minnesota, Organic Valley

Then July came and not a drop of moisture for almost four weeks.

drought 2012, farmer, minnesota, picture, Organic valley

Don’t be fooled by the picture, this pasture isn’t growing. It will be a long time before the cows can graze it again. Our corn didn’t pollinate correctly and our well is working harder and harder trying to find water to bring to our cows. Granted we are not as bad a some parts of the Midwest, but this drought has forced our family to rethink our current situation.

We are downsizing our herd by 20% because there is just no feed to be found. In our area we are completely surrounded by houses. It is difficult to rent enough acres to make feed for our animals, so we rely on other farmers to grow some of it for us. Right now there is no feed to be found. Tim (my husband) was recently out bid by farmers in Ohio. Farmers are getting desperate if they are willing to pay trucking costs from Minnesota to Ohio. So our solution is to sell some cows so that we have enough feed for over the winter. Most of our cows will probably be sold to conventional farms since, no one around us is buying organic cows.

Right now it is crucial that we put up the most and best feed we can on the land we do have. Hence why I am praying for the rain to hold off for just a few more hours. Right now we have some hay in the process of being baled. It needs to be the right moisture level (too wet it molds).

This years drought is going to have a significant impact on our farm. On the bright side, it will make our family stronger and closer than ever. Our praying knees have not gotten lazy.

Emily