Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Sky is Falling, The Sky is Falling!

Yes, that's right: We are getting RAIN here. It's been so long, we've almost forgotten what it looks like. It's a lovely, gentle, intermittent rain that is supposed to continue for another 2 or 3 days.

It's far too late to help with the hay situation this year, of course, but at least there's some hope that all the pastures, hayfields, and lawns around here will actually come back to life next year. And at least we're not at such a risk for fire now that everything is a little damp.

Reading about all those wildfires in California right now is pretty scary. Before, when I was just a regular person, I would have thought, "If such a thing happened here, I would just pack up a few necessities and evacuate." But now that I have a farm with all this livestock... what would I do? There's nothing I could do, really, other than lose everything I've worked for.

So I'm grateful for the rain, and my heart goes out to the people in California whose homes have been destroyed by the fires.

I had to drive into town yesterday to get horse grain and to get shipping materials to ship my Ebay sales. While at the feed store, I had a disturbing conversation with the guy we buy our grain from. Apparently, hay is in such short supply, some of his other customers are reporting paying $9 to $10 per small square bale for hay that isn't even very good quality.

This is pretty terrifying news. When we started this farming venture a couple of years ago, we were getting hay for $4 a bale. That's what we budgeted for, in our long-term plans. Now we're paying about $6.75 a bale. Our livestock eat about 14 bales a day. If we end up having to pay $10 a bale, there is no way we will be able to feed our animals.

We still do have several people interested in horse purchases, though, so at least we may be making progress towards at least reducing our herd a bit.

The sad part is, the horse market is so bad, I've been reduced to selling foals for less than it cost to feed their mothers while they were pregnant with them, and bred mares for the price of the foals they carry.

My hope is that if I can hold on long enough, and keep my very best breeding stock, I'll be able to regain some of the lost ground in future years once the horse market recovers (assuming it ever does).

Keep your fingers crossed for us!

1 comment:

Mark said...

Fingers crossed for you Nancy. You are working so hard. I hope everything works out.