From November 1, 2014 to February 15, 2015, The Spanish Ranch received a total of 5.5 inches of rain. That is about half of normal – definitely not El Niño – as we enter the final few weeks of our rainy season. While we are grateful to have the moisture and see the green emerging in the hills, it is still far below the amounts needed to break through this drought. Colorado's weather forecaster Brian Bledsoe predicts a relatively wetter spring and we will welcome all that comes our way.
Having said that, the grass is still short. The wildflowers are peeking through, taking advantage of these 70- to 80-degree days here in the Cuyama Valley: shooting stars, California poppies, and a tiny purple flower that I never remember the name of. It will be time to shovel-prune the locoweed before long.
Drought changes everything, especially for a seedstock producer like ourselves. We have had to cut inventory over the past three years, but the stock looks outstanding. Being raised here in this dry inland valley, they are acclimated to tough weather and tougher terrain. This year's calves that will be weaned in a few weeks are the best we have ever raised. I'm really excited about this bunch. I'm excited about the "baby pictures" I'm receiving from our customers, too. I'm glad to know the confidence you put in our genetic program is paying off for you.
We encourage you to make visiting The Spanish Ranch a priority on your to-do list this year. We look forward to learning more about your program and how we can help you be even more successful.
Photo: Kelly Canyon Creek dry with short grass, bare oaks, willows and dry sage. Green in trees is mistletoe.