BATAVIA, N.Y. (WIVB) - After farms coped with a crippling freeze this past spring, now they're dealing with drought, and some say it feels like a dust bowl.
This year, challenges on the farm have been compounded by a serious rainfall deficit which continues to worsen by the week.
Pete Call of My-T Acres Farm said, "It's not easy, but for some reason we keep doing it. Grain yields are going to drop, our snap bean yields, they just can't continue to grow without moisture."
At least at the My-T Acres Farm outside of Batavia, some of Pete and Nate Call's fields are irrigated, but not all.
"There's a clock at this end and we set the time clock for how much water we want to put on," the farmer explained.
The irrigation utilized at My-T Acres doesn't come without a price, and don't think for a moment that eventually we will not see an increased cost of produce and the grains that provide feed to livestock when we check out at the grocery store. In order to irrigate one 160-acre field, it costs the Call's $16,000 over a four-day period.
Other farmers are utilizing alternative farming techniques to get them through this rough stretch. At Anchor Farms in Clarence, only narrow strips of the field are tilled.
Farmer Ron Dawydko said, "It yields great big benefits when we have real low moisture levels in the ground, because we haven't opened the ground all up to erosion and from the standpoint that moisture is going to evaporate."
In the meantime, the wait is on as the ground continues to dry.
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said, "One of the biggest things that I learned from the farmers, especially in eastern Erie County, is they need rain within a week or they will lose their crops."
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