Local News

Local Farmers Continue To Struggle With Drought

Posted September 16, 2005 6:24 a.m. EDT

— Some people, such as farmers, actually hoped Hurricane Ophelia would drop more rain on North Carolina than it did.

Farmers are struggling with a drought, and while Ophelia helped, many areas are still inches behind on rainfall. They're feeling the impact with all sorts of crops, including tobacco, sweet potato, corn, soybean and cotton.

"There's a lot of praying involved," Allen Hudson, a third-generation farmer, said.

Colby Lambert, a Cumberland County agricultural extension agent, helps farmers deal with tough times like this.

"It's either going to be too dry, too wet," Lambert said. "So, it's always a gamble."

The lack of rain means not only no growth, it means weaker plants. Weaker plants mean more problems with insects, which sense vulnerability and move in for the kill.

So Hudson and other farmers, who often rely on insurance to help them survive, have their hands full.

"All of a sudden it gets dry and hot," farmer Kenny Ammons said. "We had fifteen days of a 100-plus degrees. Nothing can take it."