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North Dakota farmer worried dry July will affect crops in major way

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Buffalo, ND (WDAY TV) - From Minnesota cities to North Dakota towns much of the Midwest has recorded record rainfall numbers this summer.

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While many farmers are still recovering from severe flooding in their fields, a record dry spell is hitting home on one farm near Buffalo, North Dakota.

You don't have to drive down Lee Fraase's dirt road to know his farmland near Buffalo is thirsty.

Lee Fraase/Buffalo, ND Farmer: “I think it's the driest July ever on the farm.”

And his hope is beginning to run dry.

Fraase: "Farming, it's always been a gamble, it always will be."

In July, Fraase's fields saw only 4 tenths an inch of rain.

Fraase: "You've been at it so long you just kind of roll with it."

And his 1500 acres of wheat, beans and corn are calling for a much needed drink.

"Fargo sits in the bathtub, in the bottom of the lake. That's one thing. We sit out here. We're on the second beach of Lake Aggassiz."

His soil- more like sand.

It's pretty dry right here."

While some fields nearby saw severe summer flooding and record rainfall.

Fraase: "You can go four miles away and they probably had three, four inches, when we only had a couple tenths."

Here, the crop yields could soon suffer.

"You get used to it."

You can really notice the problem in spots like this. These beans use so much energy just getting their roots down to the water because soil like this isn't helping them out.

Fraase: "You'll find a little moisture in there, not much."

Beans and wheat still have a shot, but corn- by the looks of the cobs- need help.

Fraase: "You can pray.”

Pray that August will bring rain.

Fraase: "You do the best you can, you do what you can do and there are something’s that are out of your control.  In some ways that's maybe better."

And let Mother Nature take care of the rest.

Fraase says an average July usually brings about two inches of rain.

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Kay Cooley
Kay Cooley came to WDAY 6 News in September of 2012. She was born in a suburb of Chicago then made her home in Hershey, PA. Kay graduated from Northwestern University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in journalism. At Northwestern, Kay was a member of the Division I Women’s Swim Team and a reporter for the Northwestern News Network on campus. Before coming to WDAY, Kay was working for KVRR in Fargo and interned at ABC27 in Harrisburg, PA. When she’s not out in the field reporting, Kay enjoys being active and spending time with friends and family. If you have story ideas, questions or just want to say hello, feel free to email Kay at kcooley@wday.com.
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