[Anchor Lead]The severe drought has wreaked havoc on crops across the nation, including potatoes and onions, which are supposed to be in season. After that harvest, farmers usually plant other kinds of crops, but this may be difficult this year.[Pkg]As soon as a tractor plows through this potato field in Seosan, Chungcheongnam-do Province, potatoes reveal their appearance. Sizes and quantities are smaller than usual.[Soundbite] Lim Keum-ja (Farmer) : "I had a rich potato harvest last year, but this year it's very small because of disease and dry conditions."The situation is similar with onions, which are also being harvested these days. Despite the farmers' desperate efforts to cultivate them by using ground water, this year's harvest is less than half as big as in previous years.[Soundbite] Park Dong-chul (Farmer) : "I sowed eight seedlings in each row, but only two or three of them have grown. The remaining ones have died."But this is not the end of the problem. After harvesting potatoes and onions, other kinds of crops such as sesame leaves and cabbages are usually planted. But few farmers are willing to do it this year because of the severe drought.[Soundbite] Lim Jae-seop (Farmer) : "I usually plant cabbages after harvesting potatoes, garlic and onions, but this year the soil is too dry for sowing cabbages. I am worried because there is not enough water."A growing number of farms refuse to plant any crops until it starts raining. Farmers around the nation are gradually losing hope, as the protracted drought is showing no signs of ending.
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