07/03/13 — Rainfall begins to worry farmers

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Rainfall begins to worry farmers

By Ethan Smith
Published in News on July 3, 2013 1:46 PM

Excess rain over the course of the last several days has local farmers behind schedule as they try to harvest crops and plant new ones.

Tyler Whaley, Wayne County field crop extension agent, said that if the rain continues at its current rate, there will be a significant problem with the tobacco crop.

Due to the rain, farmers can't get in the fields to control suckers or spray fungicides on their tobacco crop, Whaley said, which could hurt the quality of the leaf.

"We want to do the exact opposite (to the tobacco) of what mother nature wants to do," Whaley said. "We want to grow for leaf, and the plant wants to seed and flower."

There is still a significant amount of wheat left in the fields, too, Whaley said, and certain wheat fields around the county have wheat that is laying horizontally on the ground preventing it from being harvested and decreasing yield for farmers.

The only crop that will benefit from the rain will be corn, Whaley said.

All other crops, including wheat, soy, cotton and sorghum, are behind, and without the necessary warm, dry days that would allow the crops to grow, are at risk of falling even further behind schedule.

"We're to a point where the negatives outweigh the positives," Whaley said. "Every crop other than corn is being negatively impacted, and we need hot, dry days."