Drought Hanging Farmers And Their Crops Out to Dry

by WHIZ Reporter on July 12, 2012 at 6:35 am

The drought is taking its toll on area farmers who are struggling to save their crops from the dry weather.

Near Crooksville, Neil Cherry of Cherry Orchard has been busy irrigating many of his crops including blackberries, peaches and apples.

He said the lack of rain is causing some of his apple trees to quit growing and is sending them into a dormant state.

Without immediate help from mother nature, it’s only a matter of time before things go from bad to worse.

"Our volume of fruit is going to be at least half of what it should be, unless we get rain almost immediately," said Cherry.  "The part that we can water is going to turn out good, but we only have so much water, and we can only reach so much of the orchard, so we’re only going to be able to save part of the crop."

Cherry has three ponds that he uses to help irrigate his crops, but that water is also drying up.

The drought could also cause problems well beyond this year’s growing season.

"The trees will be under such stress by the end of the year, but still alive, but the damage tree, a lot of the limbs and trees will actually die next spring when they start out from the damage this summer by the drought," added Cherry.

According to data from the National Weather Service, average rain totals are over 5.5 inches below average, while at this time last year, rain totals were over 7.5 inches above average.