Farmers hope cooperating weather continues

WICOMICO COUNTY, Md. – One week ago, Willards farmer Danny Hammond told 47ABC if he saw rain in the following week, his corn crops would look totally different. A week, and about four inches of rain later, and Hammond says his corn crops may have been saved thanks to the recent rains we’ve been seeing on Delmarva.

“That changed it. That literally changed it, if we hadn’t have got it, who knows, this stuff would’ve just been going to pieces.”

Hammond told 47ABC he estimated he was losing $1,000 every day without rain a week ago. It’s money he won’t get back, but disaster may have been averted.

“It stops what you’re losing, but you’ve already lost of this ear getting fatter and a little longer… It was happy up until the dry spell.”

Just up the road in Hebron, Grant Putman with Quantico Creek Sod Farms, says very little rain has fallen in the past week. For his products, like sod, tomatoes, and other produce, the less rain, the better.

“It’s been perfect kind of perfect for us. Just enough to give the grass what it needs, but not to much to cause any big problems.”

But now, businesses like Layton’s Chance Vineyard and Winery are hoping the dry weather continues, especially in this crucial time for the grapes that will be fermented into wine.

“All the water that gets sucked up in that period really dilutes the juice. You don’t have the sugars, you don’t have the flavors that you want in that final product.”

William Layton says this will be a critical year for his winery, after last year’s harvest was cut in half by rain, and that followed two years of poor harvests thanks to weather.

“So I need this year to kind of stock that back up and be able to have a good supply in the pipeline… So there’s some buffer in there, but I’m running out of it now.”

Another reason we are entering a critical time for farmers is because we are about to enter the heart of hurricane season. A heavy rain storm like a tropical depression or storm could wash out acres of that sod, and cause damage to those tomato fields and even the corn fields.

Categories: Local News, Maryland