Farming, no matter the scale, requires water. Plants can’t grow unless they have sufficient water, much of which comes from the rain that naturally falls over the area. Droughts, however, can occur and will bring less water to the area. The plants then need to be watered, but there is less water to use because it’s not being replenished by the rain. For farms, this can lead to short-term and long-term impacts.
What Causes Droughts?
Though there are periods when it is generally drier than other seasons, it’s not considered a drought until the dry period lasts unusually long and ends up causing issues like water shortages or crop damage. Droughts can be caused by changes in the atmosphere, like a difference in the typical ocean temperatures, changes in the jet stream, and climate change. They can also be caused by changes in the local landscape. One or two instances of rain are not sufficient to end a drought. In most cases, it takes a significant amount of rain to replenish the water supply, but each time it rains helps toward relieving the impacts of drought.
When Do Droughts Occur?
Droughts can occur regularly in some areas and more rarely in others. It simply depends on the local weather patterns. Larger weather patterns, such as climate change, might be causing droughts to occur for longer periods of time or more frequently, depending on the area. Farmers generally have an idea of when to expect seasonal droughts, but larger ones can be unexpected. When a drought does occur, it’s not always easy to determine how long it will last or what impacts it will have on farming.
Short-Term Impacts Of Droughts
Short-term impacts appear fast when the rainfall slows down. Crops start to die off and can be far more vulnerable to pests or other diseases. Depending on where the crop is in its lifespan, the drought can stunt its growth, leading to lower-quality produce and less food grown. Surrounding the farm leads to higher food prices and less produce being available. Food that naturally grows in the area is likely more prepared to withstand shorter periods of drought, but all plants will be affected if the drought lasts long enough.
Long-Term Impacts Of Droughts
Drought causes long-term impacts on farming, as well. Staple crops will end up being more difficult to grow and will require more water to be added to help them grow. Pests will increase in the area, which can be difficult to get rid of even after the drought is gone. There are also issues associated with the overuse of irrigation systems, such as the potential for saltwater to get into the local water supply or for the available water supply to get too low and require a significant amount of water to replenish.
Severe Issue Due To Droughts
When droughts occur and last for a long time, the impact can end up being severe. The local food supply is stunted, which means food is more expensive to purchase. This leads to people not being able to afford local produce. Though produce can be shipped in, it is older and missing many essential nutrients simply because of the shipping time. Water can become scarce in the local area, as well, leading to unsanitary conditions or having to pay higher prices to have drinking water shipped in from another location. Depending on the extent of the drought, soil can be severely damaged, as well, and require additives to allow food to grow again when the drought has ended.
Resilience Of Land
Farmers have to be resilient and learn how to adapt to drought conditions to keep producing food. This includes focusing on various management practices that are designed to reduce the potential for moisture loss in the soil. Farmers often try water conservation techniques like reducing how often or deep they till, using cover crops, and focusing on crop rotation to help reduce the amount of water needed. On top of this, having good quality soil is going to make a huge difference, as soil that has the right nutrients and enhancements is able to store water better, allowing it to make it through shorter periods of drought without such severe impacts.
Along with changing the way, farming is done to account for the drought, part of soil and water conservation can be done using soil enhancements. At Bactelife, we’ve worked to design soil enhancements that can help the soil retain water better, leading to healthier crops and more produce being grown. Our H2Organix soil enhancer is not a fertilizer. Instead, it’s a way to help restore health to the soil, leading to a significant decrease in the amount of water and fertilizer needed when growing crops. It can also help reduce diseases and pests, and the microbes used will naturally regenerate for a long-lasting impact.
Slow Fix For The Land
The various water conservation methods available to farmers are never going to be a quick fix. They’re not something that can be done fast at the beginning of drought to conserve more water. Instead, the methods available are a slow fix for the land, allowing it to be in better health and able to withstand the lack of water for longer periods of time. Our H2Organix is a slow fix, too. After the first season, however, it is possible to see a 50% reduction in water use, a reduction in fertilizer use, and fewer pests and diseases impacting the plants. After a few years, additives won’t be needed anymore, as the microbes that help create better soil will regenerate and thrive.
Droughts are becoming more common and lasting longer, having a significant and far-reaching impact on farms. But, there are water conservation techniques that can help plants continue to grow, including the use of our H2Organix soil enhancer. We’ve done studies to make sure it is as effective as possible, allowing it to be used on residential properties as well as some of the biggest farms with great results. Check out our products today to learn more about how they can help you survive droughts and adjust farming practices to continue to produce an abundance of crops.