In the next several weeks, farmers across the U.S. will begin planting and cultivating their crops for the 2013 harvest.
With the 2012 drought still looming, this is a little scary. You can put a seed in the ground, but what does it need to grow? Water, nutrients, sunlight. And more water. And not to leave out the ranchers who are banking on more moisture to revitalize their pastures.
Unfortunately, the reserve of soil moisture for much of the corn belt is gone, compounding the continuing bad news about widespread drought, experts at the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln said.
Rainfall is crucial over the next two months for planting corn and soybeans and for the recovery of grazing areas. Typically, once we get into the second week of May, we’ve reached our peak in soil moisture, and we start to decline from there.
At the ranch in Colorado this week, my family was blasted with numerous days of blizzard conditions that left 6-foot drifts in areas. We were thankful for the moisture, but the winds and harsh conditions were stressful for our calving mama cows. I’m grateful for ranchers like my dad who spend hours feeding the cows and snow-blowing out areas for the cows to get through.