Farmers not feeling drought

Published 9:16 am Saturday, June 23, 2007

NATCHEZ — Despite severe drought conditions throughout most of the state, area farmers have not felt the crunch.

The National Weather Service reports Mississippi has received less than 3 to 3.9 inches of rain for the month of June as of June 9. Most of the western part of the state is considered to be in severe drought conditions.

“The normal rainfall for June is about three inches, and, so far, the Adams County area is about two inches short,” Meteorologist Latrice Maxie said.

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Afternoon showers, which occur in July, August and September, can help these conditions.

“The scattered afternoon showers may get the levels back on track, but it won’t bring the levels up to normal,” Maxie said. “You will need 10 to 15 inches for the rainfall to be back to normal.”

Fortunately, local farmers have not been affected by the conditions.

“We have had some drought conditions, but for the most part, we are having pretty favorable conditions,” farmer Cecil Brooking said. “The storms will rain on one part of a farm and not another.”

Adams County Extension Agent David Carter said cattle have begun to suffer.

“Without grass having the needed water, farmer’s can’t produce hay, which feeds cows,” Carter said.

There is also a link between insect problems and drought.

“When the plants go a long time without proper nutrients, it can stunt their growth,” Carter said. “Bugs flourish in this weather, and plants are more susceptible.”

The only crops that are really affected are soybeans and corn. Cotton grows later in the season and may not be affected by the current weather.

“We just have to hope for rain and get the best of what we have,” Carter said.