Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) – It’s not summer yet, and we’re already feeling the scorching temperatures. The extreme heat caused a drought that covered almost all the states, causing harm to farmers.
“I really like what I’m doing,” Justin Vail said. “It’s getting more stressful every year.”
For a fifth -generation farmer, Brandon Vail, the work doesn’t stop. From corn, wheat, beef or crawfish, Vail said it was a job that required some elbow grease, but he said he knew what he was signing up for.
“Wheats, oats, corn, milo – I raised almost everything you can plant here,” Vail said.
Over the past few years, Vail has said his job has been harder because of frequent rain and devastating storms, but this year, he said it’s just the opposite.
“This year, everything that happened has changed for us,” Vail said. “We went through a drought.”
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, most of Louisiana is in drought, with Calcasieu Parish facing a D-2 or severe drought. Compared to a year ago, most of the state is white, meaning there is no threat.
As rice as his main crop, Vail explained that he pulls even longer days to keep up with the evaporation caused by the heat.
“Every eight days or so, I have to go back and add water to every cut in every field,” Vail said. “So, it is a constant, never-ending battle. You will never stop. You can never turn off your pumps. “
He said the rain was a comfort, whereas a year ago, it was seen as more work. Vail also owns pets, which he says brings up its own issues.
“Because it’s so dry, we’re starting to have pasture issues,” Vail said. “We are short of grass in their area. We’re really worried about hay. “
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently extended emergency loans for producers in all Louisiana parishes recovering for drought. Click here for more information.
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