Local News

Some Farmers Get Too Much Of a Good Thing

Posted September 6, 1999

— Farmers had been crossing their fingers and hoping for rain to drench their parched crops. Thanks to Dennis, they got what they wished for and then some.

Part ofWilson Countywas doused with 8 to 10 inches of rain in the past few days. Farmers needed the rain, but they did not need it all at once.

Tobacco farmer Chris Bass said it was worse than he had first thought. His Wilson County tobacco fields are littered with leaves left behind from two passes ofDennis.

Dennis will not ruin the season, but it will make it harder to turn a profit. Strong winds snapped leaves off the stalk.

The leaves on the plants are still usable, but farmers have to drive through water-logged fields to get them. The leaves that were blown off the stalk are useless. They will rot where they fell.

The storm is also having an affect on the state's sweet potato crop. The sweet potatoes look fine now, but some of them will swell up like a balloon in the soggy soil.

"The rain has kept us out of the field, and it will probably keep us out of the field for another four or five days. There is the chance, with too much water, that the sweet potatoes will rot," said farmer Linwood Scott.

It has been a year of extremes for farmers, and many will be glad to see it end.

"It's been up and down. We've had about everything you can think of, including a hurricane twice. We'll be glad when this one is over with," said Bass.

Cotton fields also took a beating, but farmers say the cotton plants should be fine.


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