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Don’t wish against the rain
Dust on the Dashboard

Don’t wish against the rain

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Glenn Brunkow is a fifth-generation farmer in the Northern Flint Hills of Pottawatomie County in Kansas. He was a county Extension agent for 19 years before returning to farm and ranch full time. Reach him at editorial@midwestmessenger.com.

I am torn. I do not know what to think or what to hope for. I have often said I will not complain about the rain because it is easier to figure out what to do with too much of it rather than too little. However, I fear there is a breaking point for everything, and I am nearly at that point.

Not to sound ungrateful but I have a lot of rye that is getting mature, and the time to hay brome is nearly upon us – not to mention the fact that I have not planted any soybeans.

I think my blood pressure is starting to rise, and yet I do not want to wish against the rain. I am afraid that if I complain about it being too wet then it will stop raining for a long time. That would be much worse.

I know my thoughts and feelings have absolutely no control over the weather, but can we take that chance? The answer is no.

Part of my problem is that while it has rained nearly every day for two or three weeks, we really have not gotten that much rain. At least here around my place we have not. I know others have had huge rains and are dealing with much different problems.

Yes, I am living, breathing proof that we are never satisfied in the world of agriculture. It is always too wet or too dry and we spend much of our time lamenting our current condition. It also seems like the weather goes right from one extreme to the other with no buffer in between. Is it climate change? Probably, but do I believe we humans are responsible for it? The jury is still out on that one, and it really does not matter right now anyway. Let me get my crops planted and hay baled then we can debate the climate. Right now I have more pressing problems.

Yes, I am also aware of the fact that we have never failed to get a crop planted or the hay baled. There have been years things have been less than ideal, but we got them done. I just do not want to be the first one not to get it done. After all, I had never lived through a pandemic before, and I really think my life would have been just as full if I had not had that experience. If 2020 proved anything it is to never say never.

I know things will change, and most likely they will have changed by the time you read this column. We will be completely dry and baking in a hot summer sun. Then all of you needing rain will be ready to run me out of town on a rail and I will deserve it. In fact, in two to three weeks I will probably be complaining about how dry it is and that we need some rain.

There is a plan in place for everything and that is what I need to remind myself. God knows what he is doing, and my little human brain cannot and could not grasp it. There is a reason I am not in charge, and someday I hope to find out what that reason is. Until then I will continue to whine, complain and wish I could make those decisions. That is the downfall of all humans, whether we admit it or not.

Even though I know it does no good, I will continue to watch the weather, walk the fields, stare at the sky, and try not to complain. Each time I watch the weather it seems as though another day of rain is tacked on the end of the forecast. I am not asking for much – 10 days, maybe two weeks of dry weather and sunshine and then I will be ready for a few days of rain again. It does not seem like a huge request.

Instead, I need to just chill out and enjoy the weather. The smell of rain is relaxing, my grass in the pastures looks really good and the fire danger is almost zero. Life is about the little victories. I need to remember to appreciate what I have and not worry about what I cannot control. The rain will come when God determines it is time. The sun will shine on his queue, too. The sooner I realize that, the happier my life will be.

Soon life will be hectic again and I will wish for a little down time. Maybe tonight I will watch something else instead of the news. Who am I kidding? I will watch it and again start to complain about not getting anything done. We farmers and ranchers are a funny bunch that cannot ever be satisfied. I guess it is a terminal condition.

Glenn Brunkow is a fifth-generation farmer in the Northern Flint Hills of Pottawatomie County in Kansas. He was a county Extension educator for 19 years before returning to farm and ranch full time. He can be reached at editorial@midwestmessenger.com.

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Glenn Brunkow is a fifth-generation farmer in the Northern Flint Hills of Pottawatomie County in Kansas. He was a county Extension agent for 19 years before returning to farm and ranch full time. Reach him at editorial@midwestmessenger.com.

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