Gift of rain

Mother Nature’s unpredictability is found in the Sunflower State. As a difficult drought is showing some signs of easing a bit it shows the fickle nature of Mother Nature.

Since the beginning of the year Dodge City, Kansas, was lacking moisture and snow was virtually non-existent this past winter. Spring passed with little rainfall and it was starting to look tough as the region entered what was going to be the beginning of the dry season. July proved to be a surprisingly good month for moisture—and I’m thankful.

In a recent trip to Hutchinson, Kansas, it was a far better picture than what I had encountered this past fall when Mother Nature put a plug in the spigot.

It does not take long to appreciate the beauty of what rain means to the prairie. When pastures have ponds filled and the ground has black look to it, there is a great sense of optimism about the future, even if it seems murky because of the politics of the current season.

Mother Nature provides nourishment when I least suspect it, when the forecasters believe there is little hope for moisture than a change in jet streams, etc. occurs and it makes a difference.

The mood of farmers changes almost overnight when beneficial rains fall. Plans for a short vacation—once thought as impossible—see the light of day. An upgrade in a tractor, grain drill or vehicle becomes more plausible.

Yes the gift of rain percolates through the agricultural economy in ways that few economists or politicians understand. From experience, I know just the opposite happens during an extended drought. Spending for vacations and other niceties in life are cut. Machinery and vehicle brochures are kept in a safe place where they can only be re-opened when Mother Nature offers visible proof that all is well.

The gift of moisture is now helping producers with a sense of optimism that headline writers can only dream about. Many times I have heard the phrase, “We are just one good rain away from making the crop.” The recent rains have brought smiles to producers who have benefited from the rains.

The gift is a reminder about remembering those who have not been as fortunate. Hopefully their gift of rain will be soon and just as beneficial.