Drought Affects Farmer's Livelihood - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Drought Affects Farmer's Livelihood

The owner of Morath Orchards Jimmy Morath has been planting fruits and vegetables for about 30 years and he says he's never seen a drought this bad.

He's spent a pretty hefty amount of money in an underground irrigation system that keeps his produce hydrated but he says even though the system is efficient it's certainly doesn't substitute the rain.

"We have well water here but there's a whole lot of vegetables that we can't irrigate, that it just doesn't grow if it doesn't get the rain." said Morath.

Take peas for example. He says he has so much produce that he simply can't have an irrigation system in every section of his farm. That's why last summer Morath had to plant black eyed peas and green beans four different times after they all kept on dying and using an irrigation pod didn't even help.

"The green beans, once they start blooming, irrigation water really doesn't, they just won't set. They really need rain to set," said the farmer.

The drought is also having a negative effect in Morath's soil.

He says, "Our ground it's really sandy and you can get into a lot of trouble planting it up without any moistures and when the wind blows, it blows and it will kill everything that you planted if it's too dry."

Morath says we shouldn't notice a lack of produce this summer at the farmers market. That's because most of the farmers have irrigation systems that will help them grow most of the fruits and vegetables we buy. The drought just makes the process a lot harder and costly.

 

Tanya De Jesus, Newschannel 6

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