Sept. 16 2021 01:47 PM

These basic elements make or break our farming efforts.

We owe it all to sunshine and water. It kind of blows my mind when I really think about how simple those essentials are to all life. And as this year has proven yet again, it’s the right combination of those two elements that hold us captive as farmers.

The leaves have started to fall in abundance even though the real change to the season is still several weeks away. They just can’t hold on any longer from the lack of rainfall. And as I look across our brown landscape, you can clearly see the toll of drought. The Pacific Northwest looks nothing like the lush region it usually is.

As we have struggled with the extremes from sunshine, other regions have been dumped with the excess rain we so desperately crave. This is making it difficult to get crops in or off the ground and creating havoc in the opposite extreme.

But the steady stream of silage trucks to fill our pit this year tells me that even through the extremes we still manage to persevere. And luckily, finally, for the first time since June, we have rain in our forecast!

We manage to continue to farm thanks to sunshine and water. As the days grow shorter, I find myself holding on to every ray of sunshine I can get — and getting ready to dance in the rain!

Darleen Sichley

The author is a third-generation dairy farmer from Oregon where she farms in partnership with her husband and parents. As a mother of young sons who round out the family-run operation as micro managers, Darleen blogs about the three generations of her family working together at Guernsey Dairy Mama. Abiqua Acres Mann's Guernsey Dairy is currently home to 90 registered Guernseys and transitioned to a robotic milking system in 2017.