Farmers Battle Drought Conditions

The heat wave and drought have been tough on just about everyone, but no one is feeling it more than area farmers, some of whom may be driven straight out of business.

For over 50 years Roby Watson has been watching his corn pop up. Some years are good, others a little tougher, but nothing like this, and the stalks show it.

A corn stalk should look green from top to bottom with full leaves, but once you get deeper into the field you find things farmers don't like to see: stalks completely yellow and withered away. It has producers concerned that this year’s crop could be a total loss.

But while Watson says he will always be in Leonard, others may have no choice. This year’s season got off on a bad foot with last fall's drought. The ground wasn't moist, leading to cracks which delayed the crops’ planting. And now with more drought the amount of product per acre has been sliced in half.

The numbers suggest the amount of producers in the area could be the next number to drop.

Chris Schraeder, County Extension Agent for Fannin County, said, “If they don't produce this year, next year they may not even be around.”

Farmers can buy insurance for their crops. However, the Ag Extension Office said not all of them do.