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Farmers who are losing their livelihoods to the drought shouldn’t be surprised to feel depressed or angry, and neither should people around them. After all, these farmers are suffering a very real loss and they are grieving.
Farmers who lose a crop in many ways will react as have people who have lost loved ones, said John DeFrain, family and community development specialist at the University of Nebraska here. That is, they go into shock, denial and anger, and not necessarily in that order.
The loss of a crop means a loss of time, expenses, identity and, in some cases, a family tradition, DeFrain said. The worst nine-month drought in the state’s history meant spring crops were planted in soils six to eight inches short of moisture. While there was sufficient moisture to get most of those crops up, without additional moisture by mid-June, dryland crops likely will burn up. Eastern and central and southwest Nebraska are affected the most, with the southeast being hardest hit. The drought is expected to continue for the rest of the year.