You know you’ve had too much rain when your rain gauge can’t measure it.
I cannot remember ever getting this much rain at once. I guesstimated we received a solid 6 inches in less than 24 hours last week. I remember the Flood of ’93, when I wondered if the sun would ever shine again. Yet the river that borders our family’s home farm crested at or near a record high this week. The river in a short time spilled into all the unbelievable places it flooded 20 years ago and more.
In the past week, the stories flowed as much as the excess water. Local schools cancelled. Sump pumps sold out in the nearest city. For a short time, our small town’s railroad viaduct likened a swimming pool. Culverts roared like freight trains.
Meanwhile, our cold, wet fields got colder and wetter. And now some fields need repair before planting. For many of the region’s farmers, the torrential rain cut soils and moved corn and soybean residue into piles.
The rain gauge and below-normal temperatures are getting a lot more attention than we’d like these days. That’s because “these days” we’re supposed to be planting corn and soon soybeans. As frustrating and mood-dampening as it is, we can’t control the weather. If I could, the highest temperature would be 85 degrees during corn pollination and it would snow on Christmas Day (big flakes, light accumulation).
We’re just anxious, prepped like sprinters in the starting block. And it’s taking a long time for the starting gun to fire. We enter the week of what university experts usually consider prime corn planting time, roughly April 20 to 25 in our area. And we cannot get in the field. We still have time to plant crops into May, and they can be good crops. We keep an eye on the forecast and will feel better when we get through planting season and enter growing season – when timely, gentle rains are always welcome!
In the meantime, we fished in the farm pond on a couple warmer days and completed rainy day jobs. The guys repaired a barn roof. They added windows and doors to a potting shed (rather a remodeled old hog house). Here we care for more than 50 chicks. Most are broilers, intended for meat production and will be shared with family and friends. About a half dozen more will start to lay eggs late this summer.
The chicks certainly have been a better sign of spring than the weather.