OMAHA (KPTM)- This summer's heat wave has made it stressful for farms across the state, on the crop and the labor.
Mike Heldt has been farming all his life and owns land in Yutan, Neb. He says it isn't easy work.
"It just gets miserable out during the afternoon. Like even towards 5-6 o'clock, you feel like stopping…the corn, I'd say, like the dry land corn, probably, it's hard to say how much damage it's done to it, but it's done a lot," said Heldt.
Hot sweltering days turn into weary nights.
"You don't get near as much done when it's hot like this. Yeah, your productivity drops. You don't get as much done while you're working even because you just don't feel like it, really," said Heldt.
With 1,500 acres of row crop alone, Heldt says it costs him about $800 per acre to water his crops in between soaking rains and droughts. Do the math…the heat isn't only affecting produce, but also the funding.
"It takes a lot of water, a lot of irrigation, we do need some rain pretty bad…we depend so much on mother nature, that's just a huge, huge deal for us. If it keeps raining it'll be good. And if it stops, we'll have problems beginning to yield," said Heldt.
It's days like today where temperatures are low and productivity is high.
"Like today, it's going to get to like 85 today, which is a blessing compared to the 102 days we've had before, that really takes the bushels off fast," said Heldt.
But with everything else from melons to cucumbers still thriving on the land, Heldt says he's fortunate his crop hasn't taken as much of a toll as other fellow farmers.
"We're pretty fortunate right here yet, but we do need some rain pretty bad," said Heldt.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln created a website to give advice on managing farmland during the hot and dry summer. There will also an upcoming workshop, August 15th in Kearney, Neb. on how to manage drought risk.
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