There are many factors that make or break a farm operation.
Since the war started in Ukraine by Russia, American farmers have seen the price of fertilizer double in cost with no end in sight. It’s not unusual to see a farmer have $500,000 in input costs in his farm operation.
Weather is another factor to deal with; the right amount of rain at the right times can make or break that farm operation. If it’s too wet in the spring, the crops don’t get in on time and it creates stress on the farmer. Once in the ground, enough rain must come to develop that crop.
Weather conditions also must be suitable in the fall to harvest the crop. If God sends hail, the crops can be ruined.
The recent weather power outages cause stress. How do you water cattle if the pumps on the wells don’t work? You don’t, and your cattle become stressed. And the farmer is stressed.
Right now we are having the worst drought since 2012, over a decade ago. When it rained the farmers sighed a breath of relief, hoping enough continues to come to save the crops.
Farmers are never happy, because so much of their futures depend on the weather, and it does not always cooperate with the needs of the crops. The farmer does his part and the rest is up to God.
There have been years that interest was so high on the input costs the farmer was not able to repay the loans after the harvest. A farmer from Sigel drove up to the Pana area to get extra land to farm. The problem was not solved, and he lost the family farm. He had a total mental and emotional breakdown, and sadly, never recovered his health. The wife was forced to raise the children as best she could without his help or income.
Father John blessed my dad’s farm. He had a drought and every farm around him suffered that year but him. I asked Dad, “How did you get a crop?” He said, “God sent the dew every morning and it saved my crop.”
As a child, we went to church on Rogation days, praying for the right weather conditions to survive.
In Montgomery County, the coal mine left, the glass factory closed, the smelter is closed, and the power plant closed. One farmer told me his tax bill on his farm has doubled because of this. It’s another stress on the farmer’s back. We are still in drought conditions, and it’s very serious.
Anne Marley Marty