At what point do we as a country have to realize that this 'heat wave' we are in is the permanent changing climate? I'm not sure, we absolutely have to reconcile with the fact that at least for this growing season- it's a permanent state.
What this means for us is allotting extra hours for watering during dry spells and taking many precautions for our bodies and the livestock. Today I only worked in the field until about 11:45. Its much too hot today (over 100 with the heat index) to work in the direct sun. You can't put seed in when it's this hot, they cook. And weeding disrupts fragile roots, already stressed without much rain. Watering, though better then nothing- does not have the same effect on soil as a good rain.
The chickens all were treated this morning with electrolytes. Trying to keep their little bodies cool and calm is a challenge. Aside from really wanting the birds to be comfortable, if they don't drink/eat because they are so hot, they don't gain any weight- which means it takes longer to get the size birds we need.
The rabbits are even more heat sensitive, and currently sharing space with the turkeys who really love to be toasty. So we've started making what we call 'Bunny AC'. Essentially, we make frozen ice blocks. Mid-day, we set them in the rabbit cages, and they lay on top of them and next to them. The kits go crazy for these, licking and playing in the water as it melts. This combined with several fans and creating drafts helps keep the fragile creatures cooler.
We've been watching the reports of mid-west farmers suffering with intense droughts killing acre upon acre of crop, including the all important corn fields. This could mean BIG things for the entire country- including the costs of feeds for small farmers. As the demand for corn and other crops becomes high, the price will skyrocket- especially for organic or non-gmo yields. We're already thinking about what that means for our next year chicken/turkey production. The plight of the American Agricultural system isn't just a sad news story folks, with panoramic shots of desperate fields. this could have serious ripple effects. Alright, off the soapbox now.
In simpler news, the green beans we had last night for dinner were outstanding- I can't wait to bring them to our members this week!