Provided by Farm Bureau Insight
Kim Baldwnin, McPherson County farmer and rancher
The saying “April showers bring May flowers” is what runs through my mind every spring. It’s a saying that has held true for almost every year I have lived on our Kansas farm.
Like clockwork, the crocus and daffodils are the first to appear followed by my tulips, lilacs and peonies. Add in the fruit trees blooming and you have a beautiful spring floral assortment.
Generally, by the time my peonies and lilacs bloom, I can’t help but attempt to capture the aromas and beauty by arranging cuttings of these flowers into a table-top display to be enjoyed in my kitchen as a precursor of June’s wheat harvest.
However, this year’s blooms never went on display to be enjoyed at my kitchen table. The sweet smells from one of my lilacs have been enjoyed only when I walk up to the bush and bring my nose close to the smaller-than-normal white blooms.
I’m still waiting on my peonies to appear. Like normal, the plant has grown and buds have formed; but as I’ve kept watch over this plant anticipating its May bloom, I’ve been left wondering if we’ve somehow missed the last step and the flowers will not come this year.
Perhaps it is just a little late to bloom this year, but I can’t help but wonder if the delay of my peonies and stunted lilacs are signs of what our wheat harvest will look like.
It’s no secret that we experienced an incredibly dry 2022. The drought stressed our crops, stressed our water sources and stressed us. We had hoped for a wet winter, but instead it remained mild. It feels as if the first five months of 2023 is a continuation of last year’s drought.
The ponds in our pastures, which would normally be filled by now, are totally dry. We’ve been watching our wheat slowly grow. We hesitated to begin the spring planting of our fall crops in hopes it would rain; and when we did begin planting, we planted the seeds deeper than we’ve ever planted them to ensure they had some moisture to begin their growth.
My husband has always half-joked that when a farmer prays for rain, there’s more people praying for the opposite. He’s probably right. After all, people have parades, picnics, car shows, golf outings, garage sales, field trips and weekend plans that call for nice, sunny days to be enjoyed in the spring.
Even though my prayers for rain might be outnumbered, I will continue to pray for it multiple times daily.
I generally keep my daily prayers between God and myself, but like many other farmers, I’m openly calling for others to join me in our request.
Please Lord, let it rain.
“Insight” is a weekly column published by Kansas Farm Bureau, the state’s largest farm organization whose mission is to strengthen agriculture and the lives of Kansans through advocacy, education and service.