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Minnesota Farmers Worry As Drought Continues To Dry Out Crops

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- The lack of a good rain-soaking for more than two weeks is making Minnesota farmers worried.

The impact can be seen in the leaves of corn crop on Wright County farms, as they start to dry up and turn in on themselves. It's a problem that farmer Dave Marquardt is starting to see happen in certain parts of his own cornfields.

"Those plants are starting to wither up already," said Marquardt, "You can see how [the leaves] curled up, that's kind of a defense mechanism once it starts getting dry it curls up to protect itself."

Marquardt has been farming his whole life and this is one of the driest spells he's seen in his career.

"I was pretty young in 1988, the last time we had a drought in this area, and that's what most people are comparing it to," said Marquardt.

Marquardt grows corn to feed to the cattle he's raising. He's worried about losing all of their food to this drought and having to make a tough decision down the line.

"You have to decide whether or not you have to sell [the cows] or buy more corn or whatever feed you need, and right now those prices are quite high," said Marquardt.

To make matters worse, the city of Howard Lake is under a water emergency right now, meaning no one can water their lawns, wash vehicles, or fill pools to help conserve city water.

Now, Marquardt's livelihood is riding on mother nature.

"At the end of the day there's nothing we can do until the next rainfall hits," said Marqaurdt.

The one "silver lining" of this drought is that it's drying out the grasses creating more hay than they're used to this time of year, which Marquardt says he's able to feed to their cattle and sell to other farmers with horses.

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