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Aquifer levels getting low in southeast Missouri

A southeast Missouri farmer says a multi-year drought could pose problems with irrigation in the Bootheel.

Aaron Porter tells Brownfield dry conditions over the past two years have not allowed the aquifer to recharge at its normal rate.

“It recharged over winter, but not to the degree that it would in a normal rainy or snowy winter.”

Porter says that if aquifer levels recede, growers will face challenges later in the season.

“Last year was dry, this winter was dry and now because this year is dry we are concerned about later this season having pumps not be able to pick up water. Which, for our type of soil, would be devastating to the crop.”

According to the USDA, 59% of cropland in Porter’s Stoddard County uses irrigation from the aquifer.

Porter uses irrigation for cotton, corn and soybeans at his farm near Dexter.

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