Talk of the current drought situation is being heard all over the place right now. For those involved in the agriculture business, it’s in almost every conversation. For those not directly involved in agriculture, talk regarding the drought is heard and seen all over the news. But no matter who you are and what you do, chances are that you’re quite aware that the United States is thirsty for rain.
If I were not working at my family’s calf ranch, I would be in the category of the latter. I would hear about it on the news, and to be totally honest, I don’t think that I would give a second thought to the conversation. However, I am working in agriculture, which has allowed me to realize the severity of this drought for everyone in this country.
The crisis here, as simply as it can be stated, is that the drought affects crops. During these summer months, it especially affects row crops. Row crops are generally grown on irrigated land in…rows! There are a lot of different types of row crops, but some that you have probably heard of are corn, cotton, sunflowers, and carrots. These crops are important in feeding both animals and humans.
I won’t get into the logistics of why the drought is affecting agriculture so much, but for some good perspectives from farmers and ranchers in the United States on how it is affecting them, check out some of these blogs:
- The Drought of 2012 – What’s the Impact to Livestock Farmers?
- A Look at the Arkansas Drought from the Cattle Pasture
- USDA, CNN Visit Our Farm to Inspect Drought 2012 Damage
I will give you a glimpse of how the drought will affect every American consumer. And if you think that I’m not talking to you, you better come back & listen because if you eat food & wear clothes, you’ll be affected by the drought! Because there hasn’t been enough rain for these row crops, it is going to cost more to feed the animals that feed us. And if it costs more to feed those animals, then you had better believe that it is going to cost more to purchase the by-products of those animals.
That’s just one affect of the drought. And although my heart goes out to farmers across America during this tough season, I do think that it might be a good wake up for us, as consumers, who often times take for granted the hard work that American farmers and ranchers do to provide such delicious, high quality food for us to eat at such reasonable prices.
I will say that I was encouraged this morning as I arrived at the calf ranch while the sun was rising and I saw the sun breaking through the clouds, and felt a few rain drops begin to fall out of the sky. That moment reminded me of God’s goodness that never fails…during times of abundant harvest and during hard times of drought.
How is the drought affecting you? Are you a farmer or a rancher trying to feed your herd? Or trying to maintain your crops in this dry season? Are you a consumer who really hasn’t given much thought to what’s going on? Or are you a consumer who realizes the cost that we are going to be paying as a result of the dryness?