Posted: Dec 12, 2012 6:00 PM by Mitch Bryan
Updated: Dec 12, 2012 8:02 PM
CORPUS CHRISTI - A discussion, on the ongoing drought conditions, was held today at the Del Mar West Campus. And one of the main speakers was a climatologist, Dr.John Gammon.
He's an expert on the history of climate change and he says there's really no way to predict when the current drought will end. Dr. Gammon also said because of the dry conditions, what little rain we did get, wasn't as beneficial as usual, because of evaporation losses. He also told the gathering, that the last drought of this magnitude was back in the 70's.
And that's not much encouragement for area farmers, who are feeling direct hits on their crops and their wallets.
No, this is not a scene from "The Grapes of Wrath," though some local farmers are calling this the South Texas Dust Bowl.
"Eventually it's going to take it's toll on us."
Wayne Miller and his family own nearly 8 thousand acres of land in between Chapman Ranch Road, all the way out to Bluntzer. And he says that he knows, first hand, how hard the drought has hit himself and his fellow farmers.
See, Miller and his family have until April to get their seeds in the ground. But they can't do that unless some rain comes their way. So, for now, it's a game of chicken between Mother Nature and Wayne Miller. He must wait until the last second to see if rain gives him the chance at a last minute wheat crop.
"We put out a lot of fertilizer last year, early on, and then got tagged with not much of a crop and you can't do that two years in a row. So we have to play this year a little closer to the vest," Miller said.
Because if Wayne and his family plant seeds in this dry, clumpy soil, the crops will only wither and die, once the roots reach another dry patch.
"By April the first, if it hasn't rained, then we'll have to make some critical decisions. We'll have to go ahead and plant, no matter what," said Wayne.
Knowing full well that his crops will only die and Miller's insurance company will have to pay for the loss. For now, Miller and his family must wait and hope for a better year in 2013. Even though the climate shows no immediate signs of changing. But as a life-long farmer, Wayne holds onto his optimism, with his eyes turned skyward, in hopes of a better harvest this coming season.
"Everybody should have to work for Mother Nature, she's a great boss," Miller said.
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