Many Region 8 Farmers Are At The Mercy of Mother Nature

Marmaduke, AR --  30 year veteran farmer, Roy Newsom, longs for a soaking rain on his 300 acres of soybeans near Marmaduke.

"On July 1st, we got a good soaking rain, maybe an inch or inch and a half, but since then we've gotten less than a tenth of an inch," said Newsom.

For these 300 acres, he relies on mother nature to bring rain and nourish his crops.

He says the past three years have been prosperous, but so far this year mother nature hasn't been so kind to him.

"If it doesn't improve, you are looking at 10 to 15 bushels an acre on average. If it doesn't get to the ground that is on top of that field on the hill it won't make anything," said Newsom.

He says the plants are just now beginning to bloom, so now is the time he is desperate for rain.

In fact, he says he's only treated his soybeans once this season for weeds and grass, when some years he could spray up to three times.

"Since I sprayed it, it hasn't rained enough to germinate the grass and weeds.  I have just sprayed once--and I have a relatively clean crop," said Newsom.

Roy farms another more than 1000 acres and he irrigates that land, but Roy chooses not to irrigate this land.

"The land here on the ridge is lower level, so it's really not practical to put a well down," said Newsom.

So for now, Roy waits.

He, like any farmer knows, is at the mercy of mother nature.