Farmers are infamous for never being happy with the weather. For years, we’ve been battling awful conditions – unreliable or non-existent autumn breaks, short springs and searing summers. The one blessing has been warmer and therefore more productive than normal winters.
This year, though, has been one out of the box. The landscape remained a verdant green right through summer and, with a precious bank of water in the soil, I took the opportunity to convert plenty of pastures from annual to perennials and when the “whole hog”, fully cultivating beautiful seed beds.
My gamble may still pay off but right now, the strategy has come back to bite me. The sun refuses to shine, the rain continues and that bank of soil moisture has been continually topped up to the point that very little of the new pasture is trafficable at a time when it desperately needs fertiliser and a trim. We may not be able to let the cows into some paddocks until spring.
So, as I type this post on a cold, wet, sunless day, I’m afraid I live up to the stereotype of the whinger. I have a good excuse but no good reason – exposed to commodity price cycles, currency fluctuations, all the normal business hazards and mother nature herself, farming is innately a risky business but still we choose it as a way of life. After all, an affinity with mother nature is what binds us to it.