I hate this time of year

One of my very first hens – now 4 years old

I hate this time of year. I don’t mean Christmas. Oh no. I love the Christmas season. The gift making and baking. The traditions, those passed down and those created or adopted for our own little family. Popcorn and Christmas movies. And of course the music.

No, what I hate about this time of year is the number crunching. Trying to figure out what our costs are going to be for the farm in the coming year, our income, and what will be the difference between the two. Trying to figure out whether or not we will even be able to continue.

And this year probably more than any other. We thought it was bad last year with corn prices doubling. This year soybeans and hay have followed suit. On top of that we lost our rented hayground and will have to purchase all of our hay. If we can even find it to purchase. Matt talked to our hay baler today, and he’s not selling anything yet. There’s no other hayground to be found to rent. Everything is being plowed under for corn (i.e. ethanol).

If we could find pasture to rent it would help things, because we wouldn’t have to start feeding hay as soon next fall. But there’s none of that to be found, either.

Besides that, we are to the point where we need land in order to grow our business. We are at the limits of this acreage. We’ve worked hard to develop our market, and it’s still growing. But there is no way to pencil out paying $5k to $7k an acre.

A couple of weeks ago we were planning to purchase 3 more cows for our herd. But after the number crunching we’re talking about selling them all. We’d keep the calves we are currently feeding. But it doesn’t look like we can afford to feed the cow herd through the winter.

I’m not sure what the point of my whining here is. All in the name of keeping it real, I guess. Farming is not all rainbows and unicorns. (Although, think of the business we could have if we sold unicorns! Hee hee) We’ve come so far, and yet it feels like we’re facing an insurmountable peak.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to I hate this time of year

  1. Pichinde says:

    What a frustrating time for you.We recently (within the last few months – also at hay buying time) had to make the same decision. There was no way we could grow on the land we have and we can’t afford to feed the animals for such a large portion of the year. We either had to get rid of my husband’s sheep flock or make some drastic changes so that we could, in a few years hopefully, afford more land.I hope the numbers “crunch right” and you’re able to figure something out. It’s heartbreaking to consider giving up a group of animals you’ve worked hard for. *big hugs*

  2. Matt says:

    It really sucks to have your professional life so uncertain.

  3. MommyMommy says:

    Wow, I am so sorry. I hope you figure something out.

  4. Peter comly says:

    You must be reading my mail. We are feeling the same way at the present time. I would have spent the year sitting on the porch playing the banjo if I had known the pay was going to be the same. I sometimes think there ought to be a 12 step program to help those of us afflicted with Agriholism. We know it’s not good for us but we just can’t stop.Anyway, I hope there will be a possitive resolution for all of us.

  5. squire says:

    We shouldn’t be feeding our corn to our cars. This will come back to bite our butts.

  6. Patti says:

    Sweet Kelli, If you know this is what God has called you and Matt to do ,stand firm in faith that He will provide your needs!(Faith is the SUBSTANCE of things hoped for and the evidence of things NOT SEEN) If your not sure,spend some time in prayer to see. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to accomplish something God has not called you to! If we can help in any way.Please let us know!!!!!

  7. karl says:

    sorry about your money woes. if it helps any we’d like to place an oder for two unicorns, a male and female pair. toly and the new baby will be needing one also.

  8. Rurality says:

    There’s the same hay problem here, though probably more because of our drought than anything. That plus the late spring freeze means that many farmers in our area are having hard times this year too.It’s not just corn & soybeans either… it seems like every plant that can be used to make oil has increased in price.

  9. Susan Sophia says:

    I’ve recently come across your blog. I REALLY like it and would love to link to it on my new blog soon to be published called St. Brigid Farm. It has been an inspiration to me, this post especially.Anyway, I wanted to say that I REALLY appreciate your openness and honesty, for “keeping it real”. My husband and I have grand dreams of building up our farm and becoming as self-sufficient as possible. It is always good to see first hand that it isn’t always glorious. I live in the Pacific NW and our hay prices have skyrocketed as well. I’m told that a huge part of that is because they are exporting certain kinds of hay, that there is a huge market for it overseas and therefore it is making it scarce for us. At least here on the west coast. I agree with Patti and encourage you to go to God. He will make things clear.But I don’t agree with Peter (sorry Peter, I mean no disrespect) when he says “we know it’s not good for us…”, I think it IS good for us!! It builds our faith, it builds local economy and brings us closer together as a family and community.I pray blessings on you and yours in this new year to come. John 15:5

  10. Connie says:

    Hi,I recently discovered your site and I love your pictures, comments and bread recipe:).I am just a city girl and know nothing about how you do what you do but I just read a book called “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” by Michael Pollan. He references a farmer in Virginia named Joel Salatin at Polyface Frams who is raising animals quite self-sufficiently using a method called rotational grazing. He does this on 100 acres of pasture and 450 acres of woodlands. This frees him from worrying about the price of corn and hay. I wonder if you have heard of this or are practicing this method in any way?Since I read this book, I have been doing a lot of research on grass fed meat and have been made aware of the importance of supporting small local farmers for our food supply.I admire what you do and hope and pray you are able to work out your difficulties and can continue to do what you so obviously love.

  11. Rurality says:

    Hey Kelli, I just read a term in an article talking about this: agflation! The article was called, “The End of Cheap Food”.OK I am going to stop commenting on your blog now. I think 3 or 4 per day is probably my limit. 🙂

  12. My heart feels heavy for you. Life has gotten so complicatedand sometimes hard. I can only speak from difficult decisions I’ve had to make. I lost four pregnancies by miscarrying. Finally I had a healthy baby girlon Christmas Eve of ’79. She wasa 2 lb. born three months early.My first miscarriage was sad butcop-able. By the fourth miscarriage I was on my kneespraying for some answers. When our daughter arrived I was again on my knees praying for answers. God had my attention! At that point I only had one place to go and that was up. But this time I went walking with my God. My faithgrew and life got easier. Now,28 years later (well, on Christmas Eve) I find life easier to go through. The challenges are sometimes quite hard but to be able to turn them over to God makes the “walk” so much easier. I hope that answers to your dilemma comes soon and that you recognize it. God Blessyou, guide you, and keep you in His care. Frances from Montana

Comments are closed.