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RANCH MUSINGS: To hay or not to hay?

Haymaking business is nerve-wracking
Ranch Musings columnist David Zirnhelt. (File photo)

As I write this, there is a two-week forecast of fair weather - no foul weather in sight. Thus far, we have been lurching between salvaging hay rained on because of a good forecast gone wrong and wanting to get more hay down because if it isn’t cut, it can’t be dried.

All of this is to say this haymaking business is nerve-wracking. So, what to do but be patient and not to fuss. It is easy to say. We are dependent on some measure of co-operation from mother nature.

The heat forecast is not as severe as last year. That is good – a happy medium for drying out flooded fields and record dense hay crops.

One’s spirits are lifted with a good forecast and will stay high as long as the forecast is not changed suddenly. We will, however, keep reading five forecasts several times a day. Thunderheads are not as concerning as half the sky blackening.

My analysis, or read of the weather, is not important in the scheme of things. What is important is the ability to “enjoy” the challenges and opportunities that climate variabilities are presenting to us.

Good luck and good decisions sometimes go hand in hand. If they do, we are considered good managers: if not, are we bad managers or just hapless takers of our destiny?

Read More: RANCH MUSINGS: Coping with the heat on the ranch

It will work out and it will be what it will be. A saying from former wartimes, “…damn the torpedoes” may give a clue to our feelings. Danger may await us, but we are going for it into battle as it were. Rainstorms would be the torpedoes we have to worry about.

Gusto and unrelenting hard, hard work is not the order of the day. Being cool, calm and collected will further the endeavor.

The endeavour here at the ranch is to raise another generation of energetic, happy and skillful ranchers, or, as I prefer, citizens of the world. We are mindful that the world we live in has some billionaires who choose to get a holiday on Mars, others to make fortunes from a technical revolution in farming technology.

The masses of farmer/food producers will not get rich in money terms but will have a rich legacy in cultural terms: caring, dare I say, loving, the land and the living things on it and the people stewarding the parts of creation we live with.

Happy haying to you and yours.

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