Market vendors working overtime to keep crops alive in dry, hot weather
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) -Dry and hot weather has been having an impact on agriculture across the state, affecting producers large and small, including at the Sunday Farmers’ Market.
Nancy Scanlon, owner at Trackside Farm, said you never know what you’re going to get with Nebraska summers.
“We’ve had years where we’ve had two feet of water across the farm and lost everything, but never have we been this dry,” Scanlon said.
She said the heat and dry weather have presented new challenges and more work.
“We’re having crop issues,” Scanlon said. “Things are smaller, we’re getting less of things we rely on rain for. It’s been a big time suck because we have to spend so much time getting water to things.”
They aren’t the only ones at the Sunday’s Farmer’s Market overcoming these challenges. Diamond J. Wagyu out of Benkleman said it’s been really tough growing enough crop to feed their cattle.
“We’ve received only about two and a half inches of rain all summer and with extreme heat the crops aren’t growing like they should,” said Jordan Stroup, Diamond J. Wagyu Beef.
Bright Hope Farms, which sells flowers and produce, said they’ve fared a little better but have had to take more precautions like watering and covering the soil, but they said it’s time that helped them most.
“We improve our soil health each year to help grow healthier crops, improve organic matter in the soil which also hold in moisture for crops as well,” said Lainey Johnson, Bright Hope Farms. “What makes it worth doing all of that is coming to serve people here at the market.”
The resounding message from producers is that even though it’s been a tough season, seeing the customers at the market makes it worth it.
“You keep going and every day we get closer and closer to the next day of rain.. one day closer to when it’s going to start raining,” Stroup said.
“We love doing it, Scanlon said. “Obviously otherwise we wouldn’t suffer through years like this. It’s nice to make an impact, nice to be a part of the local food community.”
The Sunday Farmers’ Market runs through the fall every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Those 10/11 interviewed said with all they’ve had to overcome, it’s even more important to support local vendors.
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