Dryland Farming Dry Againby Associated Press
Capital Press, July 12, 2002
HORSE HEAVEN, Wash. (AP) -- Last year's drought might seem like history to people across much of Washington state, but not to Jim Moon and other dryland farmers in Eastern Washington. This year, as he heads into what's projected to be the region's fourth drought year in a row, his wheat crop in this town south of Prosser is shriveled and he wonders how long he' keep at it.
"Is dryland farming going to become a dinosaur?" asked Moon, 53, part of the legion of ranchers in these hills who seed and harvest in dust with no assurance that timely rains will carry the crop along. "Are we needed? Maybe we can be replaced by irrigation."
Moon farms in the "breadbasket of Washington," an extremely dry wheat-producing region where farmers cannot count on runoff from mountain snowpack to supplement rainfall.
Barring an extraordinary storm, Washington State University weather station officials do not expect to count more than 4.8 inches of precipitation for the fourth crop year in a row, the Tri-City Herald reported recently.
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