Despite rainy forecast, Triad farmers struggling with drought

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Rain is in the forecast this week, but local farmers say they need a significant amount of rain to make up for the dry conditions we’ve had lately.

“You can’t satisfy a farmer. Last summer was too much rain, this summer is hot and dry,” said Faylene Whitaker, owner of Whitaker Farms & Garden Center in Climax and Asheboro.

It has been so dry, the North Carolina Department of Agriculture has placed most of the Triad under a drought advisory due to abnormally dry conditions.

In the latest Weather and Crop Report, the state agronomist for the district said crops are very stunted in parts of Guilford and Randolph counties.

“I know around us, some of the corn fields are totally dried up. They’re going to have to cut it up for silage. They’re not going to be able to harvest it as corn,” said Whitaker.

At the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market in Greensboro, Joe Peterson says his vegetables are looking good for now, but he’s reaching a tipping point.

“Like I said, it hasn’t rained in two months, so it’s critical right now. If it doesn’t rain right away, we just won’t have anything,” said Peterson, owner of Peterson Farm in Sophia.

Whitaker Farms has relied on their underground irrigation system this summer.

“We have had irrigation going day and night on the different crops and it wears everybody out,” said Whitaker.

The Department of Agriculture has 37 North Carolina counties under a drought advisory.

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