By Nick Starling email@example.com
The Nebraska Department of Natural Resources cuts off irrigation from rivers and streams for farmers
Those restrictions come as Nebraska is enduring the worst drought in a quarter-century.
It's because those rivers are starting to dry up. This weekend the department gave notices to farmers who rely on the rivers to feed their crops to stop and this may only be the first cut of many.
The constant high heat and dry conditions puts a burden on Nebraska crops as they head into a critical time of growth.
"We're kind of in a critical period right now with pollination and we're getting grain fill," said UNL extension educator Ron Seymour.
"We rely on irrigation particularly in the western two-thirds of the state," said Seymour.
Randy Uhrmacher farms just south of Hastings. He only uses wells to irrigate his crops and says this year's drought has put a lot of resources into keeping his crops green.
"The irrigated crops have been doing okay. It's just that we've been pumping a lot of water and we've irrigated almost as much already this year as we have the last two years combined," said Uhrmacher.
The drought gives Uhrmacher and his operation more problems to keep up with.
"This year it's a constant battle every morning and every night checking pumps," said Uhrmacher.
The river and stream shut off might be just the first of many dominos to fall from the drought conditions.
State officials say this new regulation will affect around 1,100 farmers in Nebraska.
Nebraska is the most irrigated corn producing state in the nation so a lot of farmers rely on that extra tool to help with keeping their yields high.