Can Dry Farming Help U.S. Farmers Cope with Drought?

In early 2019, the state of California was finally freed from the grips of a 376-week long drought. That’s more than seven years of dangerously low levels of freshwater for drinking, power, recreation, and irrigation. And this most recent drought is only the latest iteration in a trend that stretches back for centuries, and that promises to increase in severity as temperatures warm and as the effects of climate change become more severe.

Farmers in California – and across the country – have been feeling rising pressure in recent years to either adapt or perish in a changing climate. What do U.S farmers – including those who are seeking to procure farm mortgage loans – need to know in order to be prepared for the future?

Can Dry Farming Help U.S. Farmers Cope with Drought?

Chronic water shortages in California and elsewhere across the United States have left farmers desperate for alternatives to traditional irrigation methods. Under the strain of drought, the incurred costs of relying on irrigation have left many U.S farmers on the brink of bankruptcy, or worse.

One mode of production that has yielded promising results is known as “dry farming.” Significantly, dry farming does not require any irrigated water (at least after the crop has matured beyond the seedling stage) in order to grow crops. This water-free alternative to traditional farming practices has many U.S farmers optimistic about their prospects for continuing to thrive in an increasingly drought-prone world.

How Does Dry Farming Work?

Specific dry farming practices vary from region to region, depending mainly on local climate and soil compositions. But regardless of the details, the goal remains the same: to conserve moisture. This is accomplished by using drought-resistant crops, getting rid of weeds, and preventing run-off. Farmers can implement these changes with the help of ag land financing programs.

To get an idea of why its enjoying rising popularity, let’s break down a few of the benefits of dry farming as it is typically practiced in California.

Benefits of Dry Farming

Here are a few of the general benefits of dry farming:

  • Dry farmers in California have no use for surface water; the roots of their crops extend deep down into the soil and live off the subterranean water leftover from winter rains.
  • The deep roots also contribute to the characteristically rich flavor of dry farmed crops.
  • In contrast to irrigation farming, dry farming produces very few weeds, which in turn greatly cuts down on labor costs.

Shop for Farm Mortgage Loans Today

In a changing climate, it pays to protect your financial future. Contact us today to discover options for farm mortgage loans near you.