Drought impacting your family's food

May 31, 2011 4:01:26 PM PDT
We know the drought in Texas is bad -- the worst we've seen in a while. But to know how it really affects you, we went to a local farm, where it's obvious the drought is bad for farmers and ultimately, you and your family. The best way to get around Atkinson Farms' 100 acres is to drive. Owner Mike Atkinson sums up his biggest challenge this year by repeating the same two words.

"Dry weather, dry weather, dry weather, dry weather," he said. "It all adds up."

For the first time ever, Atkinson says his crops have been watered solely using irrigation not rainwater. The lack of rain has made a dramatic difference in the size and shape of this year's crop.

The stress of the drought is also seen on cucumber leaves. The browning around the edges, called sun scalding, is affecting production, says the Texas Forestry Service.

"The drought is causing all kinds of problems with vegetation. It does cause trees to slow their growth, it could cause wilting," explained Mickey Merritt with the Texas Forestry Service.

All the factors causing a change in crop yield has also brought a change in local prices. Fruits and vegetables cost more. Sue Muller notices it. That's why she says she shops at Atkinson Farms to get cheaper prices. But the cost isn't her only concern.

She said, "I'm concerned that the drought is going to make a change in being able to get good vegetables period. The size, just getting decent vegetables."

As the drought continues, the next concern is the availability of the produce, which would raise prices even higher.

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