Experts discuss how recent heavy rainfall is affecting Fall crops

HENDERSON COUNTY, Tenn. — Agriculture agents say this excessive amount of rainfall over the past weekend is affecting Fall crops.

“We as farmers deal with Mother Nature on a daily basis, and we are subject to whatever she decides that we’re going to do,” said Brain White, UT Ag Extension agent of Henderson County.

White says high moisture situations like this cause cotton to become damaged and discolored.

“Part of the price you get for cotton is the length of the fiber and the color of the fiber; longer length, whiter the color, is more valuable,” White said.

Expert say not only does the heavy rainfall depreciate the value of cotton, but it also forces farmers to wait on several days of sunshine to make the crop dry enough to harvest.

“It kind of starts making you nervous when the crops are ready to harvest; you spent the latter part of the summer getting all of your harvest equipment ready, and it’s time to go,” White said, “and it’s kind of a hurry up and wait situation now.”

But White says the rain is not all bad, helping plants that have been needing rain all summer.

“And we’ve got some late soybeans that are still green, that you’ll see in the fields,” White said. “We can get a little value out of this rain while they’re still filling those pods with the beans.”

White says the damp ground is also preventing farmers from taking their tractors to the field. He says once the rain has passed, most farmers need at least three to four days of sun to continue their harvest.

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