Farmers Facing More Problems Amid Drought

By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - Farmers in the Basin are gearing up for another dry season, but they're feeling the pinch more than ever right now.

If you want to take a gamble, try farming.

At least that's what it feels like if you ask farmers in West Texas.

"It's scary especially when you've got a family that's dependent on you on having an income coming in and then knowing you're not gonna have it because there's no rain," farmer, Perry Lewis, said.

Lewis with the Midland Farmer's Co-op grows cotton and occasionally wheat and hay.

He said this year isn't looking any better than the last and the above average temperatures aren't helping.

"We're facing the same situation," Lewis said. "All of my acres are dry land so I'm 100% dependent on Mother Nature. We're in desperate need of rain."

But along with the usual water woes come more problems.

Farmers are throwing in the towel and there's not enough new people to replace them.

"Young people are just not coming back to the farm," Lewis said. "There's so many other avenues for them to go down now. When they can go out and know and have a set income and know what they're gonna have from month to month, it's just hard to have interest in farming."

The cost of getting started in agriculture is a lot.

"You're looking at hundreds of thousands of dollars to get started to get equipment, to operate on, to even get that crop to harvest," Lewis said.

And the dry and hot weather adds up too.

"We can't afford to just pump our water knowing that we're not gonna get a return at the end of the year," Lewis said.

It's a risk some farmers aren't willing to take anymore.

We're told there's farm land in the Greenwood area that's up for sale.

"You can make more money planting houses on it than you can planting crops on it and that's really sad to say but it's just the environment we're in right now," Lewis said.

But like so many others, Lewis said he still has hope.

"We have to have food and fiber and water," he said. "Praying that we get enough rain to at least have a crop this year. Some sort of a crop."