Rain, rain, will it ever go away? It's a question many Wiregrass producers have been asking all growing season and from the looks of things Monday, it doesn't seem like it will. "This was definitely not a normal year of rain fall. We had excessive rainfall for much of the growing season,” explained Henry County Extension Specialist Jimmy Jones
The excessive rain all year long has prompted the federal government to step in and help those farmers in need. The USDA declared most of the state a primary natural disaster area. The rain flooded out many fields, destroying 30 percent of the cotton crop. Jones said farmers in those designated disaster areas are now eligible for low interest emergency loans. "Hopefully they will speed the process up and they put it in fast gear so those growers that need to go through the loan assistance program can get the cash flow to them to help them get out of the situation."
While the rain has hurt the cotton farmers, peanut producers could use a good shower. Jones said the ground is hardened, making it impossible to dig. Timing is crucial, since this is harvest season. "All that heavy rain pounding the soil, now that it’s dries it's caked and it's just like concrete. So we need a little moisture now during the harvest season to finish out those late peanuts. But those early peanuts we need the rain to help get them out the soil."
The dirt also sticks to the peanuts causing them to fall off the vine, which result in harvest lost and farmers say they can't stand to lose anymore.