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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Where is the Mud?

Just thought I would give ya'll a sneak peak at my latest adventure in sharing the story from the ranch. You can now find my posts on the AgWeb blog. It's all about my Ranch Ruminations: thoughts, ideas, and suggestions straight from the pasture. No better place to do my "ruminating", check it out.

Where is the Mud?

Here in Arkansas we made it through the snow and cold with only minor hiccups. I am just thankful we did not receive the 25" of snow and -20 degree temperatures that some did. We started calving heavily last week, right as the snow hit, and I only had to bring one calf into that house for a warm up and some colostrum. With 500 head of cows covering a few thousand acres, I have been finding little time to do much more than keep up with the daily chores.

Normally February in Arkansas brings us periods of cold weather and much mud as the ground usually freezes and thaws daily. With the exception of a few days of mud immediately following the snow, in which I was able to find the one mud hole where I could bury the pickup. For the most part, we are dry as a bone.
The dry weather started at the beginning of last year for Arkansas and much of the Mid-South. After a soaking 9-inch rain on Christmas Eve 2009, someone turned off the faucet. Ponds and creeks were everything but dried up by the end of last summer. Hay crops were smaller than average and we are now feeling the pinch as much of January was colder than normal. Cattle have been sucking up the hay and one can see many empty hay barns on a drive down the rural highways. The latest Drought Monitor shows that most of Arkansas is under a Moderate, Severe, or Extreme Drought, and that trend continues into Louisiana and much of East and South Texas.
For the most part, we can only hope that April will bring showers and Mother Nature will help us to replace much of the ground water that seems to be drying up.

How is the moisture holding up in your region? If you are near the mountains, will there be enough snow pack to supply ample summer moisture? Let me know what is going on.