Local farmers facing challenging weather, inflation rates

Rodney Schronk has been farming nearly 30 years in Hill County, and he said this January is one of the driest he's ever seen.
Published: Jan. 22, 2022 at 10:40 AM CST
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HILLSBORO, Texas (KWTX) - One Central Texas farmer said it takes a lot of faith to be in his profession, and that’s the case this year, as farmers in this area are facing drought conditions and record inflation.

Inflation is the highest it’s been in 40 years, and the last measurable rain in Waco was on Nov. 27th.

Rodney Schronk has been farming in Hill County for nearly 30 years. He said in his experience, this is the driest January he’s ever seen, and some of the highest prices.

To give some perspective, Schronk said last year, it cost $195 dollars to buy a ton of liquid nitrogen. This year, it costs more than $600. He said it’s not just fertilizer, but equipment, labor and herbicides have all gone up as well. The supply chain issues are also making it difficult to get parts for equipment.

Schronk said when prices are that high, they have to have a good crop, and that’s a concern with the weather right now.

Currently, he’s growing two different kinds of wheat, which are starting to suffer because of the dry weather and the cold. Despite the challenges, Schronk said things can turn around if we get some rain soon.

“If it suffers and kind of has some tough times through the winter months, it tends to make a really good vibrant root system,” Schronk said. “So if we could start getting rain in February and March, as crazy as it sounds today, can make for a better wheat crop.”

While the rain is needed for the wheat crop, it’s also needed for the corn Schronk is planning to plant in 45 days. In order to have a successful crop, it needs to grow evenly, and that’s not possible without rain.

“I will tell you in Central Texas, if we can make our best yields, we can still be profitable, there’s still a possibility,” Schronk said. “But the problem is when you’re in this kind of dry weather, if we don’t get rains, we don’t make a crop.”

Schronk said they are keeping an eye on the weather, and will make changes as needed.

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