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Drought - From the Ground Up

With prices of many commodities at or near historical highs many farmers were looking forward to a good year financially that would help make up for some of those not- so- good years in the past. The cruel irony of that situation is that with the drought the Brazos Valley is currently experiencing, many of our area’s dry land farmers who cannot irrigate may not be able to grow a crop this year. Ashley Batey has more in this week’s From The Ground Up.

“We’ve been through some where we had to wait to get planted where we were dry, but I don’t remember it being so dry through the winter, and then the wind blowing so hard, and usually this time of the year we’ve had some rain.”

Henry Vajdak has farmed with his brother in the Snook area since 1966.

“We planted about 170 acres of corn and it came up good and it’s got a good stand and everything but we haven’t had any rain since and then we had another little rain and we planted about 250 more acres in March of corn and that hasn’t had any rain since then. We planted some cotton there and it came up to a good stand, but it’s real hurting now.”

“ Every day the wind blows from the north and then the next day it blows from the south and the corn leans one way and the next day it leans the other and it’s breaking the roots off. The corn is getting so far along, if it gets a rain now, it’s not gonna produce maybe a half at best, of a crop. Cotton, it has a little wider window, longer window. It could still do quite well if it got ample rain.”

“You were really expecting to have a knockout year, you know you really were going to do some catch up and all this and here all of the sudden you don’t have anything to sell, so it doesn’t make that much difference what the price is, you’re not going to have anything to sell.”

By the end of May, the Vajdaks will have to make a decision.

“If it doesn’t rain, I don’t think it makes any difference what we do. If we plant it, it’s not going to come up. If it’s not planted, it’s the same thing, so we’re really just watching the weather, and waiting and hoping and praying that it will rain.”

I’m Ashely Batey, looking at Brazos Valley agriculture, From The Ground Up.


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