Local Farmers Will Likely Lose Money Due to Drought Season, Aski - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Local Farmers Will Likely Lose Money Due to Drought Season, Asking People to Shop Local

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 SPARKS, NV -- We are in our third year of drought and that's making things difficult for local farmers trying to sell produce. On Thursday we stopped by the Shirley Sparks Farmer's Market to see how farmers are holding up.

Local farming companies told Channel 2 News it's not east to beat the drought this year. Not only are farmers up against the dry weather conditions, but there's also more competition to sell produce around town this year. "Last year we could sell like 50 heads of romaine. This year we're trying to to get out 24 heads of romaine, and the problem could be is that there's too many farmer's markets. Like when we started in 2003 there were seven markets in reno. Last year there were 20," said Anthony Masini of Carrol's Corner Truck Farm.

On top of too many markets, Anthony Masini is just one of the many farmers having a tough time this season dealing with the drought. Masini, along with Rick Lattin of Lattin Farms have been trying to combat the problem by using the drip watering system to grow crops. Drip uses less water compared to other typical farming methods. Some farmers are also cutting back on crops that rely on more water like corn and alfalfa, while putting the water they do have toward higher value crops. "Buy the cantaloupe and the watermelon, the cucumbers the tomatoes because we got a good supply of those," said Rick Lattin.

But in most cases, farmers have to bite the bullet this year. "I'd say the average farm will probably be off between 30% and 50% on their annual income," said Lattin. He says it will take a while for some farms to rebound from this bad season. "For me it will probably take us about three to four years to recover from one year like this year," said Lattin. In the meantime, farmers are depending on consumers to shop local to help keep farms afloat.  

"Its for the economy, as long as it's grown locally, if you can buy anything locally its going to help the economy," said Lance Spicer. Farmers we talked with say they're hoping for a wet winter to help with the crop recovery. The last time they dealt with a drought this severe was in 1992.

For dates and locations of upcoming farmer's markets, CLICK HERE.

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