I’ve talked a lot about the unpredictability of the weather and the effect it has on our fields, even when the plants aren’t actively growing, yet. Starting in January, we were questioning how the fields would look this spring. Even up until the end of March, we still weren’t certain how the fields would turn out.
Now, at the end of April, we have a pretty good idea. Our alfalfa fields have taken the biggest hit. It was a wet winter, and now we have a wet spring. All of the fields are saturated. I walked out to the fields the other day and the roots of the alfalfa plants are basically rotted since they’ve been sitting in water for so long.
It looks like we’ll lose about 20-30% of our alfalfa fields. We’re going to have to start making decisions pretty quickly. I think we’ll probably rotate to another crop in the fields where we’ll have the most loss. Instead of harvesting alfalfa, we’ll plant a new crop and give the field a fresh start.
Last year was the best year we’ve ever had for wheat, corn, and alfalfa yield. We were in the fields planting at the end of April. If we don’t get any more rain, the fields still need time to dry out. It will likely be just about the middle of May before we’re planting this year.
This type of spring has happened in the past; the sky isn’t falling. But when we get to this point, our thought process starts changing. We are making different decisions than we had originally planned.
We talk about the importance of planning ahead and being ready for anything that comes up. Because we had such a great year last year, we have good feed inventory that will help make up for our loss in the fields this year.