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oldbusy1July 12, 2011

Well i never actually left, just was busy.

Garden is toast,pastures are toast. But i guess yawl probably know what i'm talkin about.

Not much to do but pray for rain and cooler temps.

We were able to harvest some tomatoes for canning up some soup. I picked probably the last of the tomatoes last night. plants just dont have much life left in them.

missed all the little pop up showers, got the thunder instead.

deer are eating the sweet potato vines and okra, purple hulls just did'nt make.

with me in the hay field the garden just did'nt get the water.

probably harvested 100 ears of the sorriest corn from 500' that was planted.

too dry to till for a fall garden, it is powder dry, it would all blow away. not there there is much dirt to start with.

July aint lookin too good either, i hope august is not the same.

gonna have to suppliment the cattle with hay and grain to get them through this drought. there just is'nt any grass left.

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Busy1, good to hear from you. I am sorry about the garden and pasture, but if it makes you feel any better, its the same way here.

We are in pretty good shape, because of health issues all but 10 or 15 head have been sold and enough hay set aside to carry them thru the winter. I don't think water will be an issue because we still have plenty water in two ponds and the artesian well over on my old place is still running. The creek that runs through the property is not running but still has holes of water in it. Its rough here but a lot of people are in worse shape.

Where I live now is powder dry, and I am only 1/2 mile from the old house, there is still some green grass over there but it wont last long in this heat.


    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 1:18PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7


Welcome back.

Yes sir, I do believe we know what you're talking about.

Brown is the new green. : (

I hope y'all were able to get enough hay baled to at least keep the cows fed through the winter. I know that anyone here who is baling hay that they don't need for their own cattle is able to sell the stuff before they're even through cutting and baling it. People are standing in line to buy it. Unfortunately, we're seeing a lot of hay pastures and round bales going up in flames lately. How awful is that? I'd be so frustrated if I had enough hay to bale and then lost it to a pasture fire or a barn fire.

My mid-season and late-season corn performed about like yours. At least the early corn made a good crop. My okra and purplehulls are producing because I am managing to keep them watered, but they are not producing as well as they should. I didn't even plant sweet potatoes because no rain fell in April and I gave up on the idea of even planting sweet potatoes because I knew that I wouldn't be able to water them enough to get good yields.

My peppers have been slow, but are at least producing something. Other than the cherry tomatoes, I think my tomatoes are toast too. The summer squash is still producing and I am sick and tired of it. Where's a squash vine borer or squash bug when you need one?

The watermelons,cukes and muskmelons are slow, slow, slow but still flowering and producing. When I completely stop watering, that will stop too.

Every day now I have the "turn off the water and just stop trying" discussion in my head and, so far, every day I decide to water the producing part of the garden just one more day. I stopped watering the tomatoes a couple of weeks ago. Water restrictions have hit the folks just north of us, so I'm afraid that we'll likely have them any day now. Not only is rain not falling, but the water that remains is evaporating at a ridiculously high rate. In agricultural terms, our county already has been declared a disaster area. Honestly, though, I am not sure that helps anyone unless they're just wanting to take on even more debt in order to try to stay in farming or ranching another year.

We were out west in the Leon and Rubottom area fighting a very large grassfire in the riverbottom area over the weekend. Their drought out there is so much worse than ours, even though they're only 20-30 miles west of us. They had grasshoppers large enough to pick up a tractor and carry it off. Compared to them, I have no grasshoppers at all (and believe me, I actually have plenty). What I most noticed out there (other than the fire and the grasshoppers) is that their soil is just as you described...dust. Most folks out there have sandy soil but now they just have dust. Those of us with clay now have rock-hard concrete clay with big cracks in it. We had bulldozers cutting fire containment lines at the fire and they put up so much dust in the air that some people thought it was smoke and that the fire was right there where the dozers were, but it actually was quite some distance away. The grass is just gone...as if it dried up and disintegrated.

I've been pouring water onto our landscape and garden, hoping to get the soil wet enough that everything will survive, but I'm at about at the point where it is time to turn off the hose and just let it go. Our Keetch Byram Drought Index is so high here that I know we're at the point that I cannot water "enough" to make a real difference.

I hope all my landscape plantings are well-established enough to get through July and August....and September and beyond. My gut feeling is this drought will continue for some weeks yet....at least into September. I'm hoping for a tropical depression, storm or hurricane to come close enough to the Texas gulf coast to send a big plume of tropical moisture our way. That seems to be about our best hope at this time.

Here at our house, our highs lately have been between 103-107. Who even wants to go outside in those temps? I'm hibernating inside in the AC as much as I can!


    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 1:44PM
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Well, Larry, i have some small square bales from last year that should get me through this dry spell. I'll try not to use any round bales till necessary as they waste it so bad. I have several ponds that are low but should keep enough water in them for the cattle.

We should have enough hay put up since we were able to pick up 2 extra fields this year. Although none of the fields produced like they should of. But every bale counts when it is this dry.I know several folks that are going to have a hard time finding enough hay.

Dawn, i spent this last week building a 16'x8 chicken coup with a divider in the middle. Then i built 2, 10'x20' runs out of some 7' chainlink fence i got,managed to be in the right place at the right time for once in my life. We dug post holes all one day with a rock bar and scooped the powder and rocks out with our hands. Not a drop of moisture 2' down.

I had to get that done as i ordered the chicks and was busy in the hay field when they arrived. they were crowded in small cages and they needed out. I'll post some picks when i get the camera down here to download. dialup is too slow at home.

I guess us okies are a stubborn lot to put up with this weather and try to make a garden.

I know everyone i talk to are trying to find some home grown tomatoes.

this whole state seems to be a tinder box waiting for a spark. had a neighbor behind me start a fire with fireworks one day. Luckily it did'nt get out and the fire dept got it contained.

I still had hay bales in the adjoining field and was sure worried for a little while. They were not even aware there was a fire till i went and told them. came back home and called the volunteer fire dept and informed them about it.

State foresty brough a dozer and pushed a fire break and back burned.

Some folks just dont reliaze how dry it is and how fast fire can move. These folks seem to always start a fire every year one way or another.

I have my hay seperated into 3 seperate barns, so if a fire does get one, at least it is not all in one basket.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 4:04PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

I'm glad your hay is separated into three different areas. We have had some big hayfield fires. I'm not sure about this weekend's fire because we weren't paged out to it the first day, but someone told me it originated in/near a field of round hay bales. We weren't paged until the second day....and by then it was out in canyons and drainage swales and gullies where brush trucks can't go, so the firefighters had to fight it on foot or doze firebreaks and wait for the fire to come up out of the canyons and come to them.

We had a lot of fires on July 3rd that were started by fireworks, but not as many on the 4th.

This past weekend, we had the big fire out west, a major all-night-long housefire and a grassfire started by the catalytic converter on an SUV--think it was an Expedition. The vehicle was driven into a pasture, the catalytic converter caught the grass on fire, and then the grass fire consumed the SUV.

Usually at this time of year our fires are started by farm equipment in the hay fields....either the equipment catches fire or it sets the dry fields on fire. We're already having more 'autumn' type fires because we're as dry as if we've already been through a whole summer.

I have home-grown tomatoes but they're not for sale and I'm not giving them away either, and they are dwindling fast!

I do have new tomato plants for fall---Big Beef---only two of them. They are going into containers. It is not much, but with two plants, if I can keep them alive in this heat, at least we'll have a few fall tomatoes.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 10:35PM
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