Local industries begin to feel the Panhandle's drought ahead of - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Local industries begin to feel the Panhandle's drought ahead of crop season

Hay industry affected by drought (Source: KFDA) Hay industry affected by drought (Source: KFDA)
Hay industry affected by drought (Source: KFDA) Hay industry affected by drought (Source: KFDA)
Hay industry affected by drought (Source: KFDA) Hay industry affected by drought (Source: KFDA)
AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) -

The Panhandle is parched, but there's no rain in sight to quench its thirst.

As local industries prepare for a new season of crops, they're feeling the pain of this drought.

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"We haven't had any measurable rain, but it's well over one hundred days, and that is starting to hurt,” said Monte Winders, a futures specialist with WinCo Futures and Investments.

An industry already preparing for the upcoming season is hay. For one local hay business, the lack of rain has caused them to fire up the sprinklers, which could increase costs for water and electricity.

"We're already having to fire up our irrigation motors, so it's not looking great. You know, if we get some rain sometime soon for this upcoming hay season, that'll keep the hay prices pretty much the same as what they were,” said Bryan Settle, General Manager at Robinson’s Family Feed.

Robinson's Family Feed has also seen an increase in prices for hay imported from outside of the city, which translates to the customers.

"Some of those producers have had to spend more money on watering and taking care of the hay so the prices have went up a little bit," said Settle. "We've had to increase just to make up the difference of what we're paying for it."

Consumers could also see a rise in prices if local farmers are not able to produce crops in the first place.

"If we don't have any rain before planting season, some of the guys won't be planting at all,” said Winders. "It will be a tough year if farmers don't start getting some good rains and things here pretty quick."

Despite those possibilities, Settle remains optimistic for the upcoming season.

"Keeping our fingers crossed and hoping we get some rain soon,” said Settle.

It’s a sentiment that much of the Panhandle can agree with, as well.

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