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Critical time for farmers waiting for rain

Posted: 4:23 PM, May 24, 2018
Updated: 2018-05-24 17:23:42-04

This is a critical time as farmers wait for rain for their crops.

Wayne Miller has been farming for 30 years. As he checks his fields in Bluntzer, he’s disappointed they are brown and burned.

This past Sunday, the fields got two inches of rain, and he saw his grain crops grow, turn green and develop grain seed on the top. Now, he sees peppered in the field of green healthy grain, dry, brown and burned leaves.

"It’s really good if we can get eight to ten inches of rain in the growing season which would be February to August, and this year we’ve got two," Miller said.

Texas A&M University Corpus Christi AgriLife Extension Agent Jason Ott, says farmers need up to 20 inches of rain, depending on the crop

But where it rains is just as important is how much it rains.

"There is kind of a bell curve as far as water utilization for the crops, so if we can get rain fall at our optimum times, we can get by with less moisture," said Ott.

Right now is that peak water demand. If it stays dry, farmers might have to rely on insurance to cover costs.

"You’re insured for 70% of your ten year average, and so it keeps you from going completely out of business," Miller said.

Lake water and well water are too salty for irrigation so farmers depend on the rain.

"You’re just waiting on the good Lord to make it rain," said Miller.