Our state’s lingering drought is predicted to continue and the lack of precipitation is causing many farmers to reconsider what they’ll be planting this spring. Some are fallowing normally productive ground that they can’t irrigate with surface water or are choosing to pump ground water to irrigate their crops. So why farm in such an arid climate to begin with? Because this environment is perfect for the crops grown in our state. Just like oranges grow in Florida and apples thrive in Washington, crops such as chile, pecans and cotton are perfectly suited to our hot, dry environment and would be susceptible to disease in more humid climes. Because our mild winters allow us to grow crops such as lettuce and cabbage in the early spring when the ground is still frozen in other parts of the country. And because our sandy soils provide perfect drainage for onions and peanuts that couldn’t stand the moisture a more clay type soil would hold. But primarily famers farm here because it’s their job, their livelihoods, the way they feed their families. It’s not a hobby, it’s a career.
Ag in an Arid Climate
2/28/2021 12:00:00 AM