The month of July has been a busy month for me. The temperatures in July have been near or over 100 degrees fahrenheit. There has been no rain with the high temperatures, the grass has stopped growing. I am having to feed hay. The hay we purchased for fall and winter feed is being fed in the summer.
Around the house and barn I have been watering the grass to keep it growing for the sheep to graze on. In my location in Texas there is not irrigation water. Farmers and ranchers do not irrigate their fields for production of hay or for grazing. The area is dependent totally on rainfall.
The market price on 50 pounds lambs is coming up. It is a normal trend for the price to go down in May and June and bottom out in July. The price starts rising the end of July and beginning of August to the peak in February. This year I think the price is not going to rise much due to the drought. People are selling their sheep because they do not have grazing area for them. The cost of hay is going to increase due to higher demand than supply.
Majority of people raising sheep in my area are hobby farmers or they want something to graze the land in order to keep their property taxes low through agriculture exemption. When things get a little hard, they are quick to sale. The coming spring, they are also quick to purchase, as it is necessary to keep livestock on the property every year in order to maintain the agriculture exemption.
The month of July brought a visit from my oldest daughter and her three children. They enjoyed learning of the sheep, petting the lambs and helping with chores. Some activities like fishing we were unable to do because of the high temperatures and their short time visiting.
July also brought squash. In my little garden the squash are producing very well. We have squash almost every night. I have also started freezing some for use in the winter months. I will add the squash to soups and stews.
As the month of July moves by, it brings our family closer to the birth of the triplets my youngest daughter is carrying. Mother and babies are doing well. Babies are growing and developing normally. There have been preparations for three new grandchildren. I have refinished and did minor repairs on an old dresser from my parents for the babies. The dresser is turning out to be a beautiful piece of furniture that will last another 50 plus years.
July has been busy, as most months are busy. August will be busy as well, with the hope of rain.