Extreme Drought Dries up Crops in Arkansas
The U.S. Drought Monitor puts more than 70 percent of Arkansas in extreme drought. The dry conditions mean growers must take extra precautions with plants and crops.
“We’ve really had good luck this year,” said Magdalena Rice of Van Buren.
Rice showed off her small garden in Van Buren on Thursday afternoon. She said, “We’ve been eating tomatoes for about a month and cucumbers and bell peppers, so we’ve had a real good crop this year.”
Rice’s vegetables survive the drought. Other growers and farmers are not as lucky. “It’s affecting all of us,” said Mike Jeremiah, store manager of the Farmer’s Co-Op in Van Buren. “It’s kind of like a roller coaster, I guess,” he said.
Dry conditions mean growers must water more often. “We’ve sold a lot more water tanks, water buckets,” said Jeremiah.
The Farmer’s Co-Op in Van Buren purchases its hay in Crawford County. Because of the drought hay is in short supply this year. Jeremiah says they may have to go somewhere else for the product.
Rain showers over the past couple of days help, but the experts believe we need much more rain to keep farmers afloat. “The crop’s just about gone now though because this hot spell will probably take the rest you know. It’ll dry up,” said Rice.
Jeremiah says some foods like tomatoes can handle more heat.
The Farmer’s Co-Op says people could see an increase in prices at the grocery store, especially at stores who buy from local farmers.