STONEWALL, Texas (KXAN) - Exceptional drought covers more than 75 percent of Texas. The agriculture industry is taking a serious hit. For many Central Texas farmers, it's been a year of hard decisions.
Keith Lindig is the fifth generation to farm land in Stonewall . The sixth generation, baby Allison, was born just three weeks ago. Lindig's family has been there since 1874.
This year, Lindig never planted the corn crop because the spring rains never came. With so little grass, he has also cut his cattle herd in half.
"It's difficult but my forefathers went through the drought of the 50s so I guess it's my turn," said Keith Lindig, farmer.
Lindig is looking to the future beyond the next rain to our next drought. He keeps his grass longer so the soil doesn't heat up and dry out as quickly. He also fertilizes deeper to promote root growth. There's a marked difference between his land and his neighbor's.
"This ground will recover a whole lot quicker when times get good again," said Lindig.
There's always a project to help prepare for the future.
"We usually try to take advantage of the drought rather than the drought take advantage of us," said Lindig.
The creek that runs through the property dried up during the last drought. Lindig built a dam and even wrote "2009 Drought" in the concrete to mark the occasion. This year, there is still water.
This drought's project is a little larger. Lindig is building a new hay barn. The foundation and supplies are ready to go.
"Right now we have cattle and no hay and grass," said Lindig. "When times get good again and it will rain again someday. Hopefully, we're one day closer. We'll have grass and hay and no cattle to feed it to. So, I'm leaning pretty hard on building this hay barn and store hay for future use."
Lindig said surviving drought is all about land management.
"We have faith and we'll make it through," said Lindig. "That's where I preach being a good steward of the land. You take care of the land and it'll take care of you."
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