By: Jeremy Linder
"For long as we've had records around
Rain --- it's a hot commodity here in the
"We’re in a regime that weather changes can cause big changes or big swings in our rainfall. And the swings are big enough to make a big difference. In other words plants don't get any water, the catchments don't get any water and so we get in real trouble."
"It turns out that the temperature around here is controlled by the precipitation by some degree. So when we have very wet years its cooler. And when we have very dry years it's hotter."
Our water supply is not the only thing that suffers during a drought; our economy does too.
"The drought has been tough on agriculture. Both our farm and our rancher side. 2011 was devastating, 2013 hasn't been much better it's really cut down on production as far as the farming side. The difference in the 50's is we didn't have the technology we have now and we didn't have the irrigation. We didn't have the capability of dripping those deep wells and pumping that water. Our tillage practices have changed, providing the cover crop, making sure the soil is stable. It’s always a process of evolution, we're learning every drought we go through, and we learn a better way of managing for it."
Blanek says October’s rainfall helped alleviate the stress of the current drought, but the battle has just begun.
"We’ve been blessed with some rain this fall but when we look at underground water tables their still low and still dropping even with the rain. You have to get the rain at the right time to grow the crops and for the crops to do well. so it's going to take a while to heal back up, three years of drought is going to take three years plus of rain fall to come back and get the water table back and restore some of those grasses."
The nice thing --- droughts in the 20's 30's and 50's --- all ended by periods of wet weather. So if history repeats: rain should be on its way --- only time will tell.
Jeremy Linder KLST News.