Drought costs dry land farmer more than $100,000

Vern Vanderpool TMs family has been farming in the Rio Grande Valley since the early 1900 TMs.

He practices dry land farming which means he depends on rain to water his crops.

He said some years are better than others, but this year TMs crops was anything but plentiful.

We do have about a thousand acres down along the river and that looks like a pretty good crop, Vanderpool said. Other than that the dry land is a terrible failure.

Vanderpool TMs family owns close to 6-thousand acres of farm land.

Most of his crop land didn TMt produce anything this year because of the drought.

Last year was a different story, he had a descent crop of cotton.

We picked about 150 pounds per acre, something like that, not great but better than nothing, Vanderpool said.

With a sixth of his crop failing, Vanderpool has had to lay off about a third of his employees.

At the very minimum a sorghum crop would probably make something with 5 or 6 inches of rain, we haven TMt had anywhere near close to that here, Vanderpool said.

Since the 1st of this year Hidalgo County has seen about an inch of rain.

Vanderpool said if nothing grows by May he will have to file an insurance claim, which will likely only pay out a fourth of what he would have made with a healthy crop.

But he doesn TMt plan to give up on dry land farming anytime soon.

You can TMt get off the horse until your through riding and we are going to stay as long as we can, Vanderpool said.