Excessive rainfall causing challenges for farmers
SUSSEX CO., Del. – This year, farmers on Delmarva have been dealing with excessive rainfall, and the effect it’s had on crops. The 47ABC weather team reports the Salisbury area alone has seen 16 more inches of rain this year as compared to last year.
Delmarva Farmers are up against some tough weather conditions this year. Officials say that excess rainfall has caused some major concern, but farmers are finding ways around it.
“We have delayed harvest, a lot of farmers around here have delayed harvest even beyond today, because the ground is now so wet, that we can’t even get across it with our machinery,” says Baxter Farms owner, Jay Baxter.
Farmers across the region are right in the thick of things when it comes to harvesting. Though the season would usually be coming to an end, the current weather conditions have caused an extension.
“And this has been an unusual active hurricane year, and for us, we’ve reaped all the excess water, so it’s been difficult on farmers,” says Horticulture Expert with Wicomico Extension Office, Ginny Rosenkranz.
Agriculture experts and farmers tell us damp weather can pose threats to crops. Rosenkranz also states, “Pumpkin farmers that were putting out sprays every seven days to keep the fungus gone and that still wasn’t enough because we had so much rain, sometimes it’s challenging being a farmer.”
In the case of soy beans, dampness can delay the harvesting process, since the beans thrive in dryer conditions.
“Its one of those things where we learn to adapt and overcome and that’s what we’re doing this year, just like every other year, we’re taking a deep breath, and were keeping ourselves busy tomorrow is another day and that’s the approach that we like to take at Baxter Farms,” says Baxter.
Rosenkranz says farmers only get paid when they sell their crop, and a rough season, can cause farmers to change their timeline of harvesting, which may not always yield the most profitable crops if they don’t have the right tools.
“We’ve been able to overcome that, we had a few days of rain, and now the suns out and the winds blowing so its go time,” says Baxter.
Farmers say they are used to facing Mother Nature all year round, and all they can do is hope for the best and prepare for the worst.
Jay Baxter also asks the community to be patient with local farmers who may be on the road more than usual, as they work to finish harvesting.
Meanwhile farmers are preparing for the upcoming winter by planting cover crops and repairing machinery in order to get ready for next season.