Apr 20, 2014
Home| Tools| Events| Blogs| Discussions| Sign UpLogin

Editor's Notebook: What a Drought Means Today

December 8, 2012
By: Charlene Finck, Farm Journal Editor
CharleneFinck small
  
 
 

After a 9 p.m. dinner at what our kids call "farmer time," I settled at the kitchen table to write this column. That was right after I had shooed Elizabeth, our youngest, up to bed. It wasn’t long before she was back by my side, showered and curious. "Why are you so interested in the Dust Bowl?" she asked. Having just watched the Ken Burns documentary, read much of his illustrated history and arrived home from the Flint Hills with a firsthand farmer account purchased at the K-State bookstore, it’s clear that I’m keenly interested in that historic event.

My answer was simple. I grew up with parents who lived through the "Dirty Thirties." It defined their lives and has had a lasting impact on mine. Honestly, I owe a debt of gratitude to that era. Without it, I wouldn’t have perspective.

As we endured the Drought of 2012 and watched crops wither on our land, I was struck by the monumental difference between the Dust Bowl and what we faced. This year wasn’t a disaster crop (even though it felt like it), it was a short crop. That pales in comparison to the Dust Bowl. Our children didn’t perish, our farms didn’t literally blow away and the sky wasn’t an ominous cloud of erosion that hijacked our soil.

As we head into a new year, I’m anxious about having back-to-back droughts (see Ben Potter’s weather story on page 14 for more information). No matter what comes in 2013, I know the outcome will be different than the Dust Bowl. We’ve learned to hold our soil in place, we know how to manage water and biotechnology has provided seeds that our ancestors couldn’t have imagined. Thank goodness for a learning curve—and progress.

See Comments

FEATURED IN: Farm Journal - December 2012

 
Log In or Sign Up to comment

COMMENTS

No comments have been posted



Name:

Comments:

Receive the latest news, information and commentary customized for you. Sign up to receive Beef Today's Cattle Drive today!. Interested in the latest prices for cattle in your area? See highlights of the latest for-sale cattle in the Cattle-Exchange eNewsletter.

 
 
The Home Page of Agriculture
© 2014 Farm Journal, Inc. All Rights Reserved|Web site design and development by AmericanEagle.com|Site Map|Privacy Policy|Terms & Conditions