Rainy days impact farming in the Piedmont Triad

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Coming off of a fantastic strawberry season, Rudd Farm is looking to duplicate that success during the summer.

Kenneth Rudd is one of the owners of the Greensboro farm. Unlike the strawberries, growing summer produce like cucumbers, squash and zucchini has been challenging.

"You were going to get up and water something everyday because you were not getting any rain to help us," Rudd said, of the recent weeks of dry weather.

Most of July was so dry that the Rudd Farm emptied a pond. But seven to eight inches of rain over the last 10 days refilled the water source. Now there's enough water to get through the rest of the summer. Also, there's enough water to cause problems.

"We may lose a few tomatoes," Rudd said. "But we are as wet as we can get."

Too much rain will cause tomatoes to split. Plus the soggy ground is slowing down work that needs to be done. Cucumber, squash and zucchini seedlings are ready to be planted. But it's too wet to drive a tractor into the muggy field. Rudd is willing to wait for the fields to dry. But if he runs out of time, there is another option that will cost more manpower, time and money.

"Instead of planting them with a tractor, we might have to do it by hand," he said.

Less rain is also good news for next season's strawberries. The young berry plants will have to go into the ground next month.