Heartland farmers deal with impacts of drought

Heartland farmers are still waiting for some relief from the drought. Now farmers are on edge trying to protect what they do have
Published: Oct. 11, 2022 at 5:27 PM CDT
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SOUTHEAST Mo. (KFVS) - Rain is in the forecast, but Heartland farmers are still dealing with the consequences of the drought.

Even with a few inches of precipitation, the damage has already been done.

”People are getting desperate,” Charlie Besher said.

Besher has been farming in Patton, Missouri for more than 25 years. He said the drought is putting farmers on edge.

“We did have a neighbor that lost 53 bales that was stolen out of a field,” Besher said.

Some farmers are putting trail cameras on their haybale piles because they can’t take any more thefts.

“That’s devastating,” Besher said. “The cost of hay right now is 50 to 75 dollars a bale.”

They have seen drought before, but never like this.

“In 2012 we got really bad, but we’ve got springs right now that are drying up that did not dry up in 2012,″ he said.

Now, they’re spending extra money on new lines to get water to their livestock.

Farther south, in Peach Orchard, Missouri, Cotton Farmer Barry Bean said these problems for farmers, will cause problems for everyone.

“There is literally no aspect of your life that is not touched by agriculture,” Bean said. “We are quite literally producing the food, the fiber, and the energy that we all depend on.”

Bean said farmers are doing their best with what nature is giving them.

“The fact of the matter is, the price of your groceries is gonna depend on what I get for my products, it’s gonna depend on what kind of crop we made,” Bean said.

According to Besher, rain on the radar, at this point, doesn’t help much.

“Will be nice to get, it will settle the dust, but our basic forage here is fescue and it’s pretty much went dormant for the year,” Besher said.

The U.S. Drought Monitor currently has southeast Missouri listed in a D1 category, meaning we are in a moderate drought.