NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — With the lack of rainfall over the last two months, many farmers have been praying for rain. The scattered showers and storms in the forecast for the next few days are good news, but their “hit or miss” nature means some farmers get rain while others do not.
Batey Farms was one of the lucky ones last Sunday, receiving three-quarters of an inch of rain. But as you can see from the dust being kicked up by the tractor, things are quickly drying back out.
Brandon Whitt, owner and operator of the farm, showed News 2 how quickly the ground dried out.
“One of the big concerns we have is, luckily, we had enough moisture out of that rain to germinate that seed. But now, you can see this soil is beginning to dry back out,” Whitt explained
One of the biggest summer crops at Batey Farms is corn. The corn has been growing, but there are some problems.
“So, you can see here, a lot of this, this is some really good soil here,” Whitt said. “But what we’ve got at the base of this plant you can see that a lot of these stalks are beginning to do what we call ‘fire.’ That is due to the lack of soil moisture. And because of the inadequate moisture we’ve had, it’s causing that plant to prematurely die because it’s not up-taking the nutrients that it needs to be able to survive and continue to grow.”
Right now their corn is about a foot to eighteen inches shorter than normal. Brandon realizes that there are farmers out there, particularly to his north, that have had it much worse. And he wants you to realize how important they are.
“Sometimes when you go out and say ‘I don’t want it to rain. I don’t want to have to mow the yard,’ remember that your corn and your beans and your tomatoes and everything else that’s grown here in the state of Tennessee, we’re all relying on that.”
The hope is that three to four days of scattered showers and storms will eventually allow all of the farms and gardens to get some much-needed rain.