Farmers fear summer drought

Farmers fear summer droughtfb-drght-jan13
Natural Resource News Note

The Medford Mail Tribune reported on growing concerns about Oregon’s excessive dry summer.

The effects of historically low snowpacks and below-average rainfall are being felt by farmers across Southern Oregon who depend on streams and irrigation ditches to sustain their crops. And they expect a hot, dry summer to make matters much worse….Straus, who won the 2010 Agriculturalist of the Year award from the Agri-Business Council of Oregon, faces the same story on 60 acres of alfalfa in Cave Junction, because water flowing in the Illinois River is almost at September levels.Straus said he’s converted his watering systems to sprinklers over the years to save water and prevent runoff. He said other farmers are reluctant to make the switch from flood irrigation because a sprinkler system increases the electricity bill.

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