The current U.S. drought, which now encompasses more than fifty percent of the country, may encourage farmers to consider dry farming in the future. Dry farming is an ancient farming practice that got its start in the Mediterranean countries that produce wine and olives. California farmers who are currently struggling with drought conditions have been using dry farming for some time now. The question is whether farmers in other parts of the country will consider it. Dry farming is the process of producing crops by relying only on the residual moisture in the soil. The preparation for dry farming follows after the winter and spring snows and rains, when farmers compact the soil’s top layer to form a dry crust and seal in water, preventing evaporation during the growing season. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has begun to disseminate dry farming methodology to farmers for possible consideration for next year’s growing season. That is assuming that the drought does not continue into this coming winter and spring.
Photo Credit: Rabbit Ranch