Local farming family copes with April showers

HUMBOLDT, Tenn — “We’re going to be behind this year,” said Kelly Griggs, co-owner of Griggs Farm.

Usually during this time of year, the Griggs family would be working hard for planting season, but this year their farming has been put on hold.

“We’re starting the year already behind the eight ball,” Matt Griggs, who co-owns Griggs Farm with Kelly, said.

Kelly works on the farm every day and said the recent downpours in April have been sending their farm on a roller coaster.

“We could be doing something at 8, and by 8:30 the whole day is shot,” Kelly said.

With the average amount of rain in Tennessee at more than 50 inches a year, we’ve already received over 20 of those inches. Because of that, the Griggs aren’t capable of farming this early in the season.

“[We] have not had any time to get into the field. Our cover crops have not grown,” Kelly said.

“Every week that goes by that we don’t have crops in the ground, already starting to ground and produce, it’s putting us at greater risk for crop loss or crop failure,” Matt said.

And that’s something Matt Griggs says could put them thousands of dollars in debt.

“What people don’t know about farming is that it is really, really hard. It is a very hard lifestyle,” Kelly Griggs said.

Matt said it’s a constant battle to compete with Mother Nature.

“We need some dry weather so we can get things done in the field, but we don’t need a drought either, so we’ll have to wait and see,” he said.

It’s a waiting game the Griggs hope to win for the livelihood of their family.

The Griggs Farm is also being featured on a new television documentary series on the History Channel called “The American Farm,” with new episodes every Thursday.

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