Drought Causes Farmers to Worry About the Future
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The heat is on and the drought is getting worse. Farmers are hoping they’ll get a little rain in time to save their harvest. If you’ve paid a visit to your local grocery store or visited a farmer’s market like this one you may noticed vegetables and fruit like peaches are small this year.
George Slusher says farming is in his blood but these days Mother Nature has his blood boiling because he’s not producing produce like he used to because of the heat and lack of rain.
“I lost a green bean crop and I had a good one a big one and I lost the blackberries and the tomatoes are kind of hurt but I’m watering them and my plants are fair,” Slusher said.
Many farmers are trying to cut their losses by not planting a fall garden.
“You plant your fall garden typically your turnips, rain or shine the 25th day of July,” he said. “Rrain or shine then you pick everything the 25th day of October drunk or sober.”
Slusher isn’t alone in the dry crop department. Hal Swaney of Platte County says he’s been farming for 42 years and this is as dry as it has been in a long time. In fact, he says the soybean leaves are dry and dying.
“Usually on a plant there will be many pods at each nod or at each cluster all the way up and down the plant and another thing these plants should be waist-high instead of struggling to be knee-high,” Swaney said.
With no end in sight from the heat the only thing farmers can do for their livestock and crops is pray for rain and a lot of it. Swaney says another concern many farmers are facing is how to feed their livestock in the winter because the hay harvest is half to a third of what it was in 2011.