Local farmers concerned after recent heavy rains

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BROWNS SUMMIT, N.C. -- For tobacco farmers like Ryan Lambeth, heavy rain over the past two weeks has caused over saturation in his fields.

He manages a tobacco farm in Browns Summit.

About one-fourth of it is under pools of standing water.

He says the rest of the four-acre farm hasn't been touched in weeks due to non-stop rain.

"We haven't been through it one time cultivating it,” Lambeth said. “We haven't been through it one time putting fertilizer through it cause it's been so wet, we haven't been able to get through it."

With about two weeks of back to back heavy rain, Lambeth is one of many Piedmont farmers whose fields are too wet to farm.

He's spent most of his time digging ditches to try to drain the water.

"It's so saturated that the water can't go down into the soil," he said.

He says this has put him several weeks behind planting schedule and kept some of the oversaturated fields from growing.

The farmer says even with temps in the 80s this week, it will still take a few days for the water to dry up.

He hopes it happens soon.

Eighty percent of his profit comes from tobacco sales.

Lambeth also grows soybeans but couldn't plant them because the ground was too wet.

Even so he still has hope that things will turn around.

"We can still make this work,” he said. “We can still get this back to what it needs to be."

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