South Plains farmers struggle as crops dry up from lack of rain - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

South Plains farmers struggle as crops dry up from lack of rain

Ray Gober in his drylands in Meadow (source: KCBD) Ray Gober in his drylands in Meadow (source: KCBD)
Ray Gober's drylands in Meadow (source: KCBD) Ray Gober's drylands in Meadow (source: KCBD)
Ray Gober's drylands in Meadow (source: KCBD) Ray Gober's drylands in Meadow (source: KCBD)
MEADOW, TX (KCBD) -

While the summer months are always hot, this summer has been unusually dry.

Add the effects of the triple-digit temperatures and lack of rainfall can be seen in farmers' drylands across the South Plains.

"It's just been too long without any moisture," Ray Gober, a cotton and peanut farmer in Meadow said.

In the 60 years Ray Gober has farmed in Meadow, he's seen it all when it comes to the weather.

"That's just part of farming. We go through this fairly regularly," Gober said.

But that doesn't make this dry summer, "It's been an unusually dry one," any easier.

"You get your hopes up pretty good, but you can get them dashed pretty quickly," he said.

Ray says the prospects for this year's crop were very high in the beginning, but things changed this summer.

"It's been very disappointing that we haven't received enough rainfall. And it's going to be a lose lose situation," he said.

Nearly two months without measurable rain during the hottest time of the year is taking a toll on his drylands.

"It's starting to put out little blooms, it's blooming in the top. These will never amount to anything if it doesn't get some more rain. It's just got to have some moisture to mature this on out," he said.

Ray says the extreme weather is also inching into his irrigated land.

"It's hurting our irrigation. We definitely don't have enough water in this area. Our wells are weak, and we don't have enough to fully irrigate a crop and carry it from start to finish," Gober said.

Something that could potentially have a negative effect on the economy of this area.

"Any time the farmers don't make money it hurts the businessmen in town. It's a trickle effect."

But as Ray says, "I'm sure not a pessimist. If I was, I wouldn't be farming."

So he'll be out in his fields every day, making sure the crop he does yield is the best it can be.

"It's just the story of agriculture. We have some good years and we have some bad years. But. It's still a great life," Ray said.

"Rainfall just helps everything."

Copyright 2016 KCBD. All rights reserved.

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