In case you haven’t registered the fact by now, we rancher-types are all about the weather and this week all those who have harvestable crops are joyful as conditions have been perfect for cutting, curing (drying) and baling (if the equipment keeps running).
In spite of sunny skies, air quality in the Cariboo has been poor as the smoke (fires in Colorado/Siberia) has travelled here and the extreme heat (38 C) has only exacerbated the situation. In our valley (Alkali Lake) after you factor in a few million newly hatched mosquitoes, working outdoors has definitely lost its usual allure.
Some folks in B.C. are complaining bitterly about an overabundance of precipitation, others about paucity and a small number seem happy with the status-quo while south of us (U.S.) our rural counterparts seem to be facing more-than-usual drought. Statistics indicate that 72 per cent of the continental U.S. is presently experiencing some stage of abnormally dry conditions, while 51 per cent of the country is, in fact in a state of drought, ranging from moderate to worse. Over 50 per cent of the nation’s pastures (U.S. Department of Agriculture) were in poor (or very poor) condition in the week ended July 8, compared to 43 per cent a week ago and 29 per cent at this time last year (Rita Jane Gabbett, meatingplace.com).
Why do we care?
Our industry is linked to the U.S. market place whether we like it or not; locked together like conjoined twins, we go through market highs and lows together.
There is no alternative so as cattle are forced to market early (drought) it contributes to weaker cattle prices for all (more cattle on offer for the time of year).
On the lighter side, It’s a Date! (If You Eat Meat), by Tom Johnston: did you know that almost a third of those who eat meat told a survey (Today.com and Match.com/4,000 singles) that they wouldn’t date a vegan or a vegetarian?
The vegetarians weren’t so picky.
Only four per cent said no to dating a meat eater.
Liz Twan is a local rancher and freelance columnist for the Tribune.