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Heat Hard On Crops Sitting In Drought Conditions

July 3, 2012, 10:00 PM by Erich Schaffhauser

Heat Hard On Crops Sitting In Drought Conditions
MANSFIELD, SD -

This week's heat wave is adding to problems for farmers sitting in drought conditions.

Farmers along the Brown and Spink county line started hoping for more rain a couple months ago and they're still waiting.

"Our moisture's just been on the low side all the way since spring," Randy Wiedebush said.

Wiedebush farms near Mansfield which according to the U.S. Drought Monitor is sitting in a moderate drought. With fields looking stressed, he'd like rain 'yesterday.'

"We've had enough subsoil to kind of hold us through the first days but now every week our subsoil is being depleted and it gets dryer also on top all the time," Wiedebush said.

The crops use a lot of water during hot stretches like the ones we're in now. Wiedebush says his corn is reaching a stage in its growth where it will need a lot of moisture which isn't there.

The Mansfield area had people kayaking to get out of their houses a couple years ago because there was so much excess water around.

"Yeah it's significantly different than the last two years. We were in a really wet cycle and now it's just 180 degrees from where we were the last two years," Wiedebush said.

If conditions don't dial back a few degrees closer to that moisture-filled cycle soon Wiedebush expects his yields to take an even bigger hit than they likely will already. At this point he's watching his corn curl up during the heat of the day, a clear sign it's stressed.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, nearly a quarter of the state is in a moderate drought.

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