How rain can save farmers and our economies thousands

How rain can save farmers and our economies thousands
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA

WILDORADO, TX (KFDA) - Different areas across the panhandle are seeing rain this week and farmers are either cashing in or missing out.

The cost of watering one acre of land with an inch of water ranges between $3 to $4. Given that 1.5 million acres of land in the panhandle are irrigated, the benefit of rain cannot be overlooked.

"If you have to water these crops, it puts extra inputs into it which equals extra costs," said David Cleavinger, a farmer in Wildorado.

Unlike most businesses, in agriculture, increases in production costs are not reflected in the price.

This is because there are too many producers and they're becoming more efficient with the help of technology. This is good news for consumers as a lack of rain won't cost you more at the grocery store.

However, the effects of dry weather are reflected in the value the wheat industry adds to area economies.

Last year panhandle wheat added more than $331 million to the high plains and accounted for more than 40 percent of all the wheat grown in Texas.

When producers are forced to pay to water their crops, less money is available to be put back into other businesses across our area. Therefore, the more rain our farmers receive the more money will be circulating in our economies.

Farmers in our area said the soil in the panhandle is good at retaining water, and the rains from three weeks ago are helping our crops break dormancy. However, additional rain will allow the crops to thrive as we move into spring.

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