Will grow food for rain

Drought is something farmers and ranchers deal with from time to time, though it can vary in degree.  This year, in some parts of Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas the degree is high.

Our family has a farm in SC Kansas.  We grow corn, soybeans, wheat and milo.  About half of the farm is irrigated, the other half dryland.  It can boggle the mind of some not familiar with agriculture to grasp the investment, and risk, our tenant and others like him have made in equipment, seed, inputs, etc.  just to put in a crop.  Depending on the size of the operation, it could reach millions of dollars for tractors, combines, irrigation systems, planters, trucks, grain carts, etc. etc.  That does not include hired help, fuel, and the many other expenses included in operation of a farm.  If all is perfect, can he make some money?  Yes.  But take a look at the pictures here.  That’s far from perfect.

This year, many farmers in the areas mentioned above will lose a substantial amount of investment.  Not only that, their loss will translate into less for grain handlers, trucking companies, livestock operators, local groceries, local machinery dealers, local pickup and car dealers, local charities, and the list continues.

It’s been estimated by USDA and others that nearly 20% of the nation’s workforce through processing, packaging, transportation, retail, etc. is directly tied to agriculture.  That’s why urban residents can go to the nearest grocery store and have a bountiful supply of food ready to simply put in their cart.

It’s easy to take our food, and the people who grow it, for granted.  It’s worth taking a minute, especially this year, to understand many of those dedicated farmers will not have a successful year, that their investment has literally burned up before their eyes.  While much is already lost, much more could be if the rains don’t come soon.  You see, even irrigated crops need rain, and it’s so dry in some areas, even irrigation isn’t enough.  And high prices for crops don’t do much good if you don’t have the crop to sell.  So, remember these struggling farmers and ranchers this year, and say a prayer for some rain, they really need it.


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