Ongoing drought conditions tried to steal Christmas in Nebraska

Nebraska has been facing exceptionally dry conditions all year long, which dealt a tough blow to the state’s Christmas tree industry.

Throughout the holiday season, RFD-TV news has reported on Christmas tree supply across the country. And while there were enough of the holiday staples for consumers to purchase, the ongoing dry weather created quite a challenge for tree growers this year in Nebraska.


The state has been facing dry conditions all year long. While conditions are much better now by comparison the state was completely covered in severe- to exceptional drought compared at the start of the year.


Christmas tree producers in the eastern portion of the state are still facing some abnormal dryness and, in some cases, continuing to deal with exceptional drought.

Christmas trees take around eight years to mature from seedling to harvesting size, so each year, Prior Pines Christmas Tree Farms plants 1,200 trees. The trees need an ample amount of rain during April and May and then again in August and September. This year that didn’t happen at either time. They were able to harvest 200 trees this year to compensate for only 40 percent of the seedlings planted survived the arid growing conditions.

Tough weather is not stopping the Christmas cheer, though! Thankfully, the farm stocked up on supplies from its neighbor, Wisconsin.

You can visit Prior Pines now through December 23rd.

Related Stories
Right now, the shipping backlog on the Panama Canal is up to 26 days. That is due to the water system experiencing its driest October in more than 70 years.
USDA Meteorologist Brad Rippey discusses ongoing drought-related water storage issues with the Colorado River Basin and low snowpack levels in the Sierra Nevada.
As the maple syrup season unfolds at an unprecedented pace, producers are bracing themselves for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

USDA Meteorologist Brad Rippey says we are heading into spring rather quickly and ahead of schedule, which could have negative implications for small grains and blooming fruit crops.
U.S. pork exports could outpace both chicken and beef shipments in the coming decade.
A new survey shows the national economic impact of the equine industry last year, adding an additional $55 billion to the U.S. economy in 2023 than in 2022.
Iowa lawmakers are asking the U.S. Education Dept. for clarity on a new FAFSA question asking students to list family farm assets, which could reduce their grant.
Texas A&M‘s Ag & Food Policy Chief, Dr. Joe Outlaw, predicts lawmakers may not draft a new Farm Bill until 2025, missing the first deadline by nearly two years.
According to Tom Perez, Senior Advisor to the President, more Americans are enrolled in the Affordable Connectivity Program than those receiving SNAP benefits.