Extreme heat & drought causes problems for farmers

The plants aren't able to root down enough to absorb the moisture that is down below for as fast as it's evaporating.

WHEATLAND, N.D. (KVRR) — Warm temperatures and the lack of rain is posing some problems for farmers and their crops.

“I guess to take care of them and to raise a crop you need to get it planted right and make sure you take care of the weeds and pray for a little bit of rain once in a while,” Farm owner Dallas Hoffman said.

Dallas Hoffman has been farming his entire life, but with a drought this season and temperature breaking records for the first time in nine years he’s going to have to jump through some hurdles to get his crops ready for harvesting season.

“The lack of moisture now is presenting a pretty big problem just because with the heat the evaporation there is. The plants aren’t able to root down enough to absorb the moisture that is down below for as fast as it’s evaporating. It’s taken a lot for the plants right now to keep growing and expand,” said Hoffman.

Hoffman says extreme heat is quite unusual this early in the season and normally he doesn’t expect them until July or August, but even with the past winter being dry, he says it has severely affected his crops.

“We didn’t have the moisture over the winter. Usually in the springtime we rely on some snow melt and spring rains to replenish last year’s crop and we didn’t really have much this year. The moisture line was a little bit farther down so it’s harder. So, you have to plant the beans maybe a little bit deeper than what you really want to and then they can struggle with trying to come out of the ground,” Hoffman said.

To help his crops mature, Hoffman is doing anything he can.

“We’re trying to keep weeds under control so there’s nothing extra growing to suck up any extra moisture. We want to make sure that the only thing that’s out there is the crop we’re trying to raise,” said Hoffman.

For now Hoffman says it’s hard to tell what the rest of the season will look like, but says supply could be low.

“Its affected everything our hay crop is going to be a little short, our pastures we’re not getting any regrowth right now the only stuff that we got out there is the what grew early on in the spring from what little moisture we did get early on and it’s kind of affected everything I guess,” Hoffman said.

Hoffman says the drought has also affected his cattle and he may have to either find alternative feed for them or even sell some in order to match supply.

Categories: Agriculture, North Dakota News