NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — For seven years, Hayley Roberts has farmed the land at Harpeth Moon Farm in Kingston Springs, but this summer is bringing about a lot of changes.
“This season has been challenging in a lot of ways with the drought and the weather,” she said.
The lack of consistent rain is something she began to notice in early June.
“The grass looked like it normally does in August, and so it just felt kind of twilight zoney, like what month is it?” said Roberts.
Roberts and her husband Max Vanderbroek have been trying to remain optimistic, but they’re worried about how the vegetables and flowers on the farm will fair in the next few months.
“It can be a struggle to stay positive for sure,” said Vanderbroek. “Especially when you wake up and it’s already just sweltering heat and it’s still no rain.”
“We’ve been used to 50, 60 inches of rain fall for the last four, five years or longer, so people were I guess expecting another year like that,” Ronnie Barron added.
Barron is the director of the UT/TSU Extension Office in Cheatham County. He says the lack of rain is hurting farmers and their crops across the county.
“We’re seeing some of our crops like corn, of course the drought has hurt it severely and also nighttime temperatures hurt the pollination as well,” he said.
Barron says farmers are spending more money trying to irrigate their crops, and says some farmers were already facing high input costs before this drought.
“The labor and the cost of the equipment just adds to the cost of producing the crop,” he said. “So you’re basically trying to keep it alive and producing, but you’re still not going to be able to maximize on your profitability anytime you have to add a lot of supplemental irrigation to a crop.”
While Harpeth Moon Farms continues to push through the summer, Roberts says if things don’t improve, prices could begin to rise.
“We’re using more resources to ensure that we have a crop so the prices are going to go up on our lettuces, our tomatoes and peppers even more so because we’re spending more to ensure we have a yield,” she said.
Barron says farmers won’t know just how the lack of rain will impact crops for the next couple of months.
This issue is impacting farmers across the country and Barron believes it could have a big impact on food prices later on in the year.