is part of the Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

  • American Agriculturist
  • Beef Producer
  • Corn and Soybean Digest
  • Dakota Farmer
  • Delta Farm Press
  • Farm Futures
  • Farm Industry news
  • Indiana Prairie Farmer
  • Kansas Farmer
  • Michigan Farmer
  • Missouri Ruralist
  • Nebraska Farmer
  • Ohio Farmer
  • Prairie Farmer
  • Southeast Farm Press
  • Southwest Farm Press
  • The Farmer
  • Wallaces Farmer
  • Western Farm Press
  • Western Farmer Stockman
  • Wisconsin Agriculturist

Persistent drought has taken a toll of SW agriculture

 

Drought has been a constant companion for Southwest residents for the last three years—and counting. In 2011, Texas set a record for hottest summer and driest year. Some farmers reported less than one inch of precipitation for the entire year.

Some recovery occurred in 2012 and 2013 but precipitation levels remain below average and the deficit continues to increase. Reservoirs across much of the region remain at historically low levels with some lakes at zero capacity.

For more information on weather, markets and production tips, please check out Southwest Farm Press Daily and receive the latest news right to your inbox.

Despite the drought, some farmers have made decent yields in some areas, but even irrigated land has not produced to typical levels in many cases, especially in 2011 when prolonged heat and near constant wind pulled moisture out of the soil almost as fast as farmers could apply it.

Long term potential, say meteorologists, is not promising.  Most experts predict the Southwest will remain in drought conditions well into 2014 and that the dry trend could persist for another five years or more.

Bryan Rupp, and on air meteorologist in Wichita Falls, Texas, says farmers and ranchers will learn to adapt to hotter, dryer conditions. Climate change, he says is real, and whether it is natural or manmade makes no difference.

 

Learning to adjust will be the key.

Here are some visual reminders of how dry the last few years have been.

TAGS: Water
Hide comments

Comments

  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Publish