Arkansas farmers store up for dry days

Local News

PRAIRIE COUNTY, Ark. – Mother Nature’s inconsistency already causing a headache for some farmers in our state.

Others in the industry have created a backup plan to try and ensure their yields still come out when the train runs dry.

As the summer months approach, farmers start begging for rain or hitting deep water wells to keep their crops thriving. Those wells can be expensive so some local farmers are using what Mother Nature has been giving them the past couple weeks to fuel their crops for the months to come.

David Fielke is a 4th generation farmer from Prairie County. He says he has put a plan in place in hopes of securing more ups.

“It’s nice to be able to put the service water on the farm. It goes through the tailwaters. We pick it back up and we just continue to recycle,” he said. 

Fielke has spent years building a self-sustaining water supply on his Prairie County farm. It collects rain and when times get dry, it’s pumped back into his field to keep the crops growing.

“If we were dependent on wells and they aren’t pumping very much. then you just couldn’t get across the farm.”

“We rely on our Sparta water or our confined aquifers and they are very deep so it’s expensive to get that water. It also has low volume so the capacities are low,” UA water management engineer Chris Henry said. 

Henry says more farmers are jumping on board with Fielke.

“A lot more water is available. It allows them to irrigate their crops more successfully,” Henry said. 

Fielke does say creating this type of system isn’t cheap, but worth it to keep the family business growing for years to come.

“If we hadn’t done it, I wouldn’t have a son farming it now for sure.”

Fielke says it can cost upwards of $250,000 to pump from a deepwater well. As for rain, it’s free.

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