Local News

More Rain Could Be Bad News For Farmers

Posted June 27, 2006

— A month ago, farmers could not buy a drop of water for their crops without irrigation. In two weeks, Mother Nature has dropped nearly 15 inches of rain on Franklin County. Plus, more could be on the way.

"We've already seen some crop losses, a lot more (rainfall) could definitely mean more losses," said Will Strader, a farm extension agent with Franklin County.

Flooded fields have drowned some crops like tobacco, corn and soybeans. Farmer Ricky May found some of his soybean crop underwater.

"On the 15th and 16th of June, we've had 8.3 inches of rain here," said May.

Crops that have not suffered water damage from previous rains are thriving. A little more rain shouldn't hurt. It's those high winds that farmers dread.

High winds can topple tobacco stalks, as farmers in Nash County learned when the remnants of Tropical Storm Alberto came through. Farmers said righting those plants is tough work, but it is necessary for the plants to reach maturity.

"We've had a lot of rain since the middle of this month, and it has taken a toll on all crops," May said.

Statewide, farmers suffered millions of dollars in crop losses due to this year's heavy rains.

Farmers said they need to see rain next month, but in moderation, because that is when surviving crops will be ready for harvest and selling.


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