Dry conditions worry farmers ahead of planting season | KOB 4

Dry conditions worry farmers ahead of planting season

Meg Hilling
January 08, 2018 07:23 PM

AZTEC, N.M. -- Disappointment over little snowfall this winter is extending beyond winter activities as farmers anxiously await snow for their crops.


"It is as important as it can get. If you don't have the water, you don't have anything," farmer Allan Sutherland said.

That is the fear at Sutherland Farms.

"It's Mother Nature. We can't do anything about it. We just have to deal with it and see what happens," Sutherland said.

With no snow on the ground and not much in the mountains, farmers throughout the Southwest who rely on runoff are getting nervous about the water supply in the region. Little snow means likely smaller harvests for this upcoming fall and smaller revenue for farmers.

So how do farmers handle seasons like this?

"We had to go into rotation. That means some of the ditches got to run a few days. Other ditches would be out and then you would change over," Sutherland said.

If the snow continues to hold off, some crops stand to suffer far more than others.

"The hay will do somewhat better than other crops. Now our crop vegetables, they don't do so good. They need a drink pretty often," Sutherland said.

Despite the negative outlook for snow, some farmers are holding out hope.

"The way I look at it, we've got till April," he said.


Meg Hilling

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