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South Texas farmers concerned about the weather and market

Posted at 6:39 AM, Feb 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-20 07:39:48-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Last year at this time South Texas farmers were stuck on the sidelines because of cold temperatures and wet conditions delaying their planting season.

This year they just had a small delay. Conditions across the region vary greatly from farm to farm. Some fields have been saturated, slowing farmers down, but others are desperate for rain.

“What we are seeing right now is that we are getting into a pattern where we are missing most of the rains that come through this area.

Once Mother Nature starts doing that to you, you find out pretty quick that you need to start preparing for a drier season rather than a wet one,” said farmer Daniel Wendland.

Many South Texas farmers are compiling a list of concerns over this year’s planting season, and one of their top concerns is the market.

“Our markets today are not really moving. The thing with China and the virus over there is affecting us a great deal.

The way I understand it is that they have a clause to pull out of the trade deal, and when they do, that means our markets don’t go anywhere,” said Wendland.

If this trade deal with China falls, the farmers are going to take a big hit to their wallets.

“The China deal is going to hurt you by 20-25 percent on your income. So take what you make every day and lose 25 percent of it, and you will feel the same way I do,” said Wendland.

If the market does not move, farmers have to find other means to sell their commodity, and if they can’t do that, they don’t spend money.

And if they don’t spend money, the people that support the farming industry don’t make any money.

“We are going to jump out there and start planting. We are going to do what we need to do because we got to make a living.

We’ll find other markets in the world to support us, but it just won’t be the demand we need to generate a better market,” said Wendland.

If farmers are unable to send their products to China, they will start depending on other markets in other countries like Canada, Mexico, and Europe.