Pressure : 29.90 in
Dewpoint : 57.0 °
Wind : South
Some farmers concerned they may see Dustbowl 2012
The mix of heat and lack of moisture are farmers' two biggest enemies right now. With consistent heat waves reaching in the one hundreds farmers are afraid of something like a new Dust Bowl from the 1930's.
It's a tough season in the AG industry right now. Ethanol makers are cutting production, some are even temporarily closed down due to corn prices. And to add to that, the damage from the heat and drought conditions aren't easing the stress.
For the past several weeks farmers have seen their crops suffer. And conditions are only getting worse.
"Now with the heat and the timing of pollination it would not surprise me to see 30-50 percent loss in yield based on the lack of proper conditions for pollination," said Extension Educator Dewey Lienemann.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported farmers have planted 96.4 million acres of corn this spring, the largest planted acres since 1937.
"We're in a critical area, of course, you get into the Republican River Valley, we're limited on the amount of water that we can use," said Lienemann.
Farmers in Blue Hill even fear of a new Dust Bowl period.
"It scares me a lot you know, we've got a full crop and a lot of money riding on this year's crop," farmer Bill Zimmerman said.
"You can put all the water you want on them. I mean, as dry as it is it's just sucking it up. It's hard to keep water to everything, as far as gravity and irrigation. You know you have to run in different sets the stuff that isn't getting watered right at that time. You know it's drying up, burning up as you're going," said farmer Mark Evans.
And shrinking margins in the ethanol industry isn't easing their fears.
"The rising price of corn is costing companies too much to produce ethanol," said Zimmerman.
"The price of corn or any commodity that's used for ethanol is going to have a huge effect on their bottom line, and those expenses are far above what they're going to get for their final product," said Lienemann.
Farmers tell News 5 if Mother Nature doesn't give them a break in the next couple of weeks, all their investments will become irrelevant. They'll have to begin disking their crops and starting new.
KHASTV on Facebook