12 things this crop farmer learned from the 1965 drought
By Maynard van der Galien
Hereís what I learned from the 1963 to 1965 drought:
1. Have a large land base so you have enough feed even in dry years. My father had to buy hay because he had too many cattle on our small farm. I never bought hay.
2. When a farm or land is for sale next door, buy it. I was able to purchase two farms next door. You never regret having land so close.
3. Never sell all your hay in the spring. Keep some in case you need it. Grow hay. Itís easy and usually never fails.
4. Donít have purchases on payments. In bad years it will haunt you. Pay for it or donít buy it.
5. Donít just assume that rain will come soon after you plant your crops. That might not happen.
6. Just do chores you have to on Sundays but make it a day of going to church and a day of rest.
7. Donít market cattle when the market is flooded with cattle and the price is dropping.
8. Crop insurance is great when you need it. But how much have farmers paid in premiums over the years? I never carried it. I didnít grow high-risk crops.
9. Donít risk growing soybeans on white clay ground because in a dry year they will fail.
10. Value your cattle manure. Donít put it out on dry summer days.
11. Plow down legumes. Itís a good idea when fertilizer prices are high.
12. Donít count on governments for money in a drought year. That might happen in the U.S. Canada wants to weed out inefficient farmers.