Heavy rain affects local farmers

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HARDIN COUNTY, Tenn. — Days and days of heavy rain are causing a flood of problems for some local farmers.

The heavy rain is not making it easy for farmers throughout the southeast, and their crops could now be in jeopardy if we don’t see some drier days. Saturated fields throughout Hardin County are affecting a number of farmers. But according to Brian White, the UT Ag Extension agent, things could be a lot worse. “Most of soybeans are still in the bag right now and they hadn’t been planted, which is good right now, because we would be in a total replant if we had a lot of soybeans in the ground,” he said. White said only 10 percent of soybean crops are planted at this point, mainly because farmers are used to the heavy rains this time of year. “I think a lot of our farmers here in Hardin County farm a lot of creek bottoms and river bottoms, and they are pretty apt to not getting in the field too early,” White said. Unfortunately, Karl Forsbach is part of the 10 percent who’s already planted his soybeans. He said the season started with not enough rain, and now he is dealing with the opposite problem. “The ground is so saturated that the little beans just can’t grow right, so we feel like they could damage,” Forsbach said. “We don’t have a good root system, so we’re going to have to replant them.” Farmers have reported that they’ve seen up to two or more inches of rain. Two inches on a standard ruler is not the same as two inches of water. Two inches of water is a much more significant amount, and the amount of water is also hurting his ability to harvest his winter wheat. “We feel like the quality of the wheat is going to be hurt by all this rain,” White said. But even with the weather obstacles, this farmer is keeping an optimistic outlook. “We’re going to get it done — it’s just a question of when,” he added. Farming experts say the only thing growers can do about the water levels is, unfortunately, just wait for it to subside.

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