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Weather 2010 — Cats And Doggerel

Yes, it’s that time again, the annual occasion When we indulge in a bit of agricultural di-verse-ification In badly rhymed couplets, to see that if we can’t Reflect on the year’s stories that seemed most significant Some years that’s hard, especially when trying to rhyme it This year it’s not – the story for sure was weather and climate

It used to be that Grandpa would sit you down on his knee And tell you that in the old days, how dry things used to be “Why, it was soooo… dry that for birds, the times were so dire “They had to build nests with baler twine and barbed wire “But that was no problem; though we farmers were paupers “The birds were well fed on nine months of grasshoppers”

But today’s future Grandpas will have much different tales Not of drought, but of deluge and hurricane-force gales “Why back in the summer of O-10, if I remember quite rightly “We saw two days when the sun shone, but not very brightly “We had to use discers; air seeders were just too much troubles “We could pull them with boats but all they did was blow bubbles “And because things were so wet and flooding their burrows “The gophers were living in trees, and mating with squirrels” Speaking of gophers, in the Interlake they don’t like to be quitters But they’re building a boat with gopher (wood, not the critters) There’s an old guy rounding up critters in pairs, plus their feed But the cattle producers are arguing over two of which breed

The skeptics have said climate change was just kooky Or only a figment of the imagination of David Suzuki But after a year when so many records were beat For world weather, including for drought, rainfall and heat Perhaps it’s time for those who would previously pooh-pooh it To admit that global warming just might have something to it After all, those who will be hit worst, and lose the most money Will be the farmers, if the weather and climate go funny To head off the problem, which after all could be quite colossal The logical thing to do is use less fuel whose origin is fossil As for our governing party, who we’ve elected to serve It’s time to remember that their name comes from “conserve” And for those who say global warming is a needless fear Try farming in Africa where there’s been no rain for five years

From what I can tell from all the estimates I’ve heard Because of wet weather the crop was down by a third But you shouldn’t worry, even if you could have improved it It wouldn’t matter: the railways probably wouldn’t have moved it Mind you, if they deliver a rail car for your grain to fill And you don’t show up on time, they send you a bill But if they don’t show up on schedule (they don’t half the time) They don’t owe you a cent; the cost of delay is all on your dime Farm groups usually argue a lot, and aren’t too magnanimous But on the railways’ performance they’re absolutely unanimous They’ve all gone to Ottawa and asked the government to move It said “Aw, let’s first give them another three years to improve” I seem to recall that when the government first came in They said that the lobbyists were the first thing they should rein in Maybe they have, perhaps that’s been their overall direction But for the railways it seems they’ve made an exception Though if all the railway lobbyists left Ottawa, or so I’ve heard There’d be a real estate crisis – prices would drop by a third

The year had some good news after a seven-year battle I’m referring of course to the improved price of cattle That would normally prompt ranchers to be a bit frisky And to think that retaining a few heifers would not be too risky But I hear they’re not keeping many, and I think I know why It’s because of that old adage: “Once burned, twice shy” Grain prices aren’t bad; in fact doing quite well But they always do well when there’s less grain to sell And after a good start, high grain prices were more signs Of trouble, along with the strong loonie, for feeders of porcines

So much for the past year, of looking back in reverse What of the future for this year, will it be better or worse? Will grain prices hold? Let me check my market analysis text It says “Answer, ‘Maybe, but depending on what weather does next’” Livestock? It says “Mention cycles, but answer the same “And add that ‘Of course, depending on the price of feed grain’” Crop prospects? You can quote me: for this part of the nation I predict that there will be plenty of moisture for germination

That’s it for now, so please accept our best wishes For good weather, good prices, and a harvest auspicious May your crops all be bumpers, your calves all be healthy May the new year for all farmers be happy and wealthy! [email protected]

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JOHN MORRISS

EDITORIAL DIRECTOR

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