By: Mark Reamer
We just got a good, drenching rain the day after the 4th of July. Everything is green, lush, and growing, The Garden is robust. In a truly rare circumstance, many of the crops are actually outgrowing the weeds. That almost never happens.
It’s good that we’ve made it this far with decent rains with the additional benefit of not being flooded, a major concern just a year ago. More often than not though, here in central Kansas we have decent rainfall up until the first week of July. I remember quite a few 4th of July’s that was rainy. If no rain fell on the day of, usually a day or two before or after got a shower of some kind.
The cause for this in my highly esteemed meteorological opinion is the fact that it’s wheat harvest time in this area also. A wet week of the 4th has saved many a fully ripened wheat field that hasn’t been harvested yet. It works out well as long as there’s not so much rain that the fields are unworkable. Those years that provided no rains found a lot of nervous wheat farmers as the holiday drew nearer. On those years dad’s eyes would come to alert anytime a snap, crackle, or pop was heard in the evening air, He had seen a few mishaps with fireworks in his time and honestly don’t think he thought much of them, though he never said as much.
Shortly after the 4th though, most of the wheat is out of the field and in the bins or taken to the elevator for sale. the straw is all baled and stored in the barns, GOD’S in his heaven, and all’s right with the world.
This too is a good thing. Around here, in most years, you can’t buy a drop of rain from about the 10th of July to sometime in September. It gets hot too. I remember the summer of 1980 where we had 31 straight days over 100F. Just the year before last was a pretty dry one. Several pasture ponds went dry then. I knew several cattle producers that spent a good part of that summer hauling water to their herds. There were quite a few unplanned pasture fires that year as well. It wasn’t a good situation at all. I got a few stories from then I might tell sometime, but they aren’t good either.
If you’ve had good rain up till now this year, give a word of thanks to the BIG GUY and say a prayer for those that haven’t. If things follow their usual pattern, it’s gonna be getting pretty dry for the next few months. Hopefully, it won’t be one of those years where even the mirage’s run dry. I’m no fortune teller so I can’t say, but I sure hope not.
No matter how dry it gets though, the rains will come again someday. Once again drawing on my vast meteorological expertise I will predict that a good number of you reading this can expect a good, old fashioned, a downpour of several inches the day before your ready to start the corn harvest. If you don’t raise corn though I have no idea when you’ll see your next good rain. Hang in there.