June 22, 2017

Dry conditions challenge area farmers, ranchers

By Edna Sailor
Josh Johnson farms land that has been in his Plaza area family for four generations. He looked over the seeded acres of small grains, pulses and oil seed crops to observe progress in this planting season.
“We had good moisture heading into seeding which has been our saving grace. But the moisture is running out, the crops are showing stress, and high end yield potential has already been lost,” he noted.
It felt like hope for a couple of days. Clouds rolled in over our county creating overcast conditions. Farmers, Ranchers and Gardeners alike looked upward hoping for some welcome rainfall. And at last raindrops blessed the dry soil for a short time. The average rainfall total for May is considered 2.10 inches. This May fell far short at 1.09 inches. June precipitation is predicted to accumulate 3.12 inches each year. However, at the current rate of precipitation, that benchmark may not occur this season either.
Farmers hoped heavy snows of winter would carry the land through planting and early pasture seasons, but that hope was dashed with the record high temperatures over the past month. Rain, when it did occur was little and spotted throughout the county.

The Weather Network