But despite the data, some of the biggest critics of cloud seedings are the farmers who stand to benefit from it the most. Bill Slomchinski and his family have been farming in Texas for five generations. He and his son Brett said they have to rely on costly irrigation to water their 300 acres of crops. It cuts deeply into their profits, but the Slomchinskis said they are skeptical that anything short of divine intervention can actually produce more rain.
"I don't know how it works, I don't know what they're doing to make it rain," Slomchinski said. "[But] when you have been in a drought in '96 and you have had one wet year, is it working?"
Even though cloud seeding can't end droughts, Funke said every extra drop of water it produces helps feed the underground aquifers used to irrigate crops. So while he can't promise the Slomchinskis more rainy days, Funke is convinced cloud seeding is helping them in the long run.
"It's just like a saving account," he said. "Cloud seeding is a long-term water management tool. You have to do it every year, the wet years, the dry years."
Tommy Shearrer brushed off critics who say he is playing God by messing with the weather, but while his ideas may be bold, he said he knows not to fight Mother Nature.
"We work with Mother Nature, we try to help Mother Nature," he said. "In any battle, Mother Nature is always going to win."