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Vermillion Farmers Concerned About Dry June

July 6, 2012, 4:59 PM by David Brown

Vermillion Farmers Concerned About Dry June
VERMILLION, SD -

We know it's been hot and dry around KELOLAND, but the city of Vermillion may have seen the worst of it.

Vermillion's June was the driest one in the city's history. And for farmers, that's adding new concerns to their crops.

It's been a double-edged sword for farmers and planters. On the one hand, our dry winter meant they could plant as much as two weeks earlier than usual. And while there are some bright spots in the field, moisture is desperately needed to ensure a bountiful season.

From carrots and potatoes to garlic and tomatoes, the Town Farm on Vermillion's Main Street isn't your typical rural scenery. But it still faces the usual challenges.

"We've got to put hoses out on everything at one time or another," Vermillion farmer Dave Roetman said.

Roetman and his wife ,Elaine, have been gardening for more than 30 years and say they use nearly 700 feet of hose to keep their bounty moist.

"We desperately need some moisture right now," Vermillion farmer Bob Solomon said.

Corn and soybean farmer Solomon is, for lack of a better term, in the same boat. He owns nearly 3,000 acres in the countryside and says it's tough to go about his usual routine.

"It's a little trickier to make decisions on spraying," Solomon said. "You've got to pick your time pretty selectively because if it gets too hot in the daytime, you could burn your beans."

Although Solomon says he desperately needs moisture, advancements in corn and soybean production mean they can withstand the heat for a little bit longer.

"Corn and soybeans, they've come a long way with the genetics and stuff," Solomon said. "So, I think they're a little heartier and they can last a little longer than in the past."

But regardless of what's in the ground, these farmers know they need to rely on what's in the air.

"Whatever the good Lord gives us, we'll have to take," Roetman said.

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