Not What Was Expected

Those of us in agriculture are subject to the whims of nature, and that is especially true for Colvin Ranch. Our most limiting resource is moisture (for grass growth), and since we do not have irrigation, we are dependent on rain. I am programmed for the summer to be relatively dry with little new grass growth through September. I am making grazing management decisions in May and June based on what I expect the weather to be like in September.
This year was not what was expected. As you may remember, we received a lot of rain in June. I have never seen standing water in our meadows as late as this year- end of June. However, I “knew” what to expect in August and September (dry), so we managed our grazing with that expectation. As is typical, July and August were dry, but September was not as expected. We had almost 6 inches of rain in September, the most that I can ever remember- in fact it was the 2nd wettest September on record.
All this moisture has resulted in more grass on this place then I have ever seen-I love it!
Grass kept growing through July (with all that June moisture), and the growth in September was great. The quantity and quality of our pasture is more than I would ever have expected at this time of year. Of course, the cattle are doing remarkably well with these conditions. The calves are fat and happy, the cows are contented, and the market animals are putting on a nice finish.
For us, this year has been our perfect summer- we were able to take a few weeks off for a trip to Alaska, the conditions on the ranch have been perfect, and we have enjoyed the farmers markets, meeting new customers, and catching up with old customers.

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