This summer has presented a record-setting heat wave across most of the United States. June 2012 was another warmer- and drier-than-average month (14th warmest and tenth driest June on record according to the National Climate Data Center, based on data back to 1895) when weather conditions are averaged across the country.
This severe drought is effecting farmers, ranchers, and homeowners. I live in Colorado and we have been hit hard by blistering sun and very little rain. Cattle need hay, and hay needs water — but so does corn, and every other living thing in Colorado. It’s been months since it rained significantly, and high temperatures have dried the soil and depleted reservoirs. The mild winter left thin snowpack, and now all of Colorado is facing severe to exceptional drought conditions. As Colorado farmers and ranchers assess their parched fields, they have tough decisions to make: which crops to keep and how much of their herds to send to auction far earlier than normal. The lack of precipitation stings nationwide. The U.S. Drought Monitor reports that more than 60 percent of the continental U.S. is in moderate to exceptional drought.
I am not a farmer or rancher, but I am am homeowner and I too have felt the effects of this exceptional summer. We don’t have a large yard, but we do have grass in the front and back yard. My husband has his degree in turf management so he knows how to keep grass alive, but when it is so hot and there is no precipitation, it is not easy! We live in a HOA neighborhood, so there are “standards” as to what our yards look like – one being that the grass has to be alive. That can get quite expensive when you have to put more water on it than normal! My husband and I have talked about installing artificial grass. Not sure what the HOA would think about that, but it would always be green and we would save A TON on water!
How are you fairing in your area of the country?