Recent Rain 'A Career Saver' For Local Farmers

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TROY (January 13, 2012)--With 2011 and 2012 being the state's driest two-year span in more than 100 years, local farmers said rainfall in the past week saved more than just crops and cattle.

"This rain to me is a career saver," said Robert Fleming, a farmer and rancher in Troy.

"It got our wheat germinate to where we can go ahead and start our wheat crop and a sufficient amount of underground moisture to plant our underground crops on."

Robert said although his wheat's not as tall as it should be, it's at least starting to grow.

He also said it's been a long and trying process due to the lack of rain in the past few years.

Farmers like Fleming said they have had to buy extra protein cubes to feed their cattle to make up for nutrients that rain couldn't provide, costing thousands of dollars each week.

"Our grass production has been severely hurt in the last three years of drought, and our grass coverage is not where it should be," Robert said.

"In order to pick up the slack or maintain our stocking graze, we're having to increase our feeding programs that we have."

But Robert's not alone.

His 17-year-old son Augustus is helping him recover a harvest that was once thought to be lost.

"I come home everyday and ask him what I can do to help," August said.

He said it breaks his heart to see his father forced to work harder to make up for the rain's slack.

"You can't really do anything about it," Augustus said.

"You just hurt on your yield and how much you make."

Robert said he didn't realize how important this water is until he started hauling it in a container for cows to drink.

"It's a very good sight to see some ponds with some volume to it."

For now, the Fleming family continues to pray for more rain.

"If we had normal rainfall for 2013, I think we'd come out and make a normal crop and have a good cattle year," Robert said.

"Like everything else, just relying on rainfall," Augustus said.