Dry weather concerns farmers

Higher food prices could be price to pay for thirsty crops
Dry weather concerns farmers

Consistently dry weather is concerning farmers in our area.

Farmers warn that time is running out for some crops thirsty for rain.

“It’s been a long time since it’s been this dry this early,” said Rock County farmer Allan Arndt.

Parched pastures are not what Rock County farmers want to see nearing the end of June.

6th generation farmer Arndt said some of his more delicate crops could be in trouble.

“The grains, the soybeans, things like that are doing OK right now,” said Arndt. “If they were planted early, there was enough moisture to get them established, and they’re not producing seed or growing a whole lot right now, they would be better with rain. It’s not quite critical for those types of crops. The vegetable crops, the berries, things like that, the pastures, they’re suffering a lot more at this stage in the game. But the corn will be hurt shortly if we don’t get more rain than this.”

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Some farmers have turned to an irrigation system to substitute for Mother Nature. The alternative is the possibility of losing thousands of acres of crops.

‘Most seasons we get through June without a lot of watering,” said Arndt. “We’ve been watering for the entire months of May and June and we haven’t gotten to July. So we’re probably looking at at least three times the normal cost of irrigation.”

Arndt said the lack of rain could also lead to higher food prices.

“An extended drought over a significant portion of the country could lead to higher prices and more competition for a dwindling supply,” said Arndt.

Some weekend morning sprinkles were helpful, but Arndt said ideally an inch of rain a week beginning in mid-April is ideal for crops in this area.

“There’s about a tenth of an inch of rain in my gauge right now,” said Arndt. “We are at least five inches behind for the season. So this is a good idea but we need a lot more of it.”

Arndt said for farmers the most important rain of the season is always the next one.

And that’s what they’re waiting for.

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