Drought Hits Local Farmers Where it Hurts

By: Carrie Cline Email
By: Carrie Cline Email

Drought conditions are in full force and relieving rains are nowhere in sight. A dry May and now predictions for a dry, hot June are hitting farmers where it hurts.Here’s a look at why one farmer is hoping a gamble he took doesn't backfire and cramp his livlihood.

Dry and windy--it's a recipe for disaster for Tim Cottrill's corn crop.

“This is a rare year--it's been drier than normal in April and may,” said Tim.

Only 4/10 of an inch of rain in May in Pt. Pleasant is leaving Tim’s crops parched. While Tim normally plants all 340 acres of corn in the first week of May. This year, brutally dry conditions forced him to take a gamble--all but 100 acres went in on time--nearly three weeks ago.

“We finished planting Friday and delayed that 2 1/2 weeks--waiting for rain which we didn't get. Now, we're just praying rain will hit us right away. There’s an old rule of thumb, you want corn knee high by the 4th of July. This crop that we planted earlier is doing well,” said Tim.

But, that 100 acres Tim delayed and just planted on Friday has some major catching up to do.

“Another concern--weed control! Herbicides need moisture or we're going to be riddled with weeds,” said Tim.

It's a crop Tim is counting on--while much of it goes to feed his dairy cows, a big chunk of it goes straight to market!

“We take 30,000-50,000 bushels to sell and yield will be down this year and that’s going to cut into our income,” said Tim.

For now, Tim is hoping the dust will settle soon on an already cruel corn season.

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