According to the June 15 U.S. Drought Monitor, Eastern Nebraska is in a D4 exceptional drought - the worst rating the monitor gives.
Polk County farmer Randy Smith said this is the earliest he has put out pipe irrigation to keep is corn and soybeans growing. He said he utilizes no-till and ridge-till practices to keep moisture in the ground.
Randy's son and father, Carter and Ron, are also both active on the operation and are busy helping with irrigation and equipment maintenance this time of year. Carter has a full-time job off the farm and comes back to help when he can.