Arkansas Farmer Struggles Against Drought, Heat and Beasts

related: What Produce Drought Isn't Killing, People Are Stealing
Killing Drought in Arkansas

Aug. 14, 2011
Ron Klinefelter, owner of Spring Valley Organic Growers

Hello Holly!

The update is this.… We went for two more days (79) in all of that extreme heat, and no rain. Then on the 80th day, the heavens opened. In the last 48 hours we have gotten 4 inches of rain, with more forecast tonight and tomorrow, and a 30 degree cooldown, both extremely welcome.

However a couple of problems still exist. First, for many of the crops, it was a matter of too little too late. There just won’t be time to plant another crop, and have it mature before frost.

Second, we got SO MUCH rain at once, that the tomatoes that were left, and had been just hanging there green, and pretty much not maturing, all of a sudden went on such a growth spurt, that about half of them split open, and ants are in those cracks eating away on every one of them, so they are totally unsellable.

Then, of course, the armadillo damage continues unabated, because, even though there is moisture in the forest soil, they have learned that there’s “easy pickings” in the gardens here. I shot one last night, but there are so many more. It seems that this year, more than any other year before, the problems just won’t quit’…

Sincerely, Ron

Photo: Raspberry patch withers up-even after 4 inches of rain.