Crops Suffer Because Of Weather - - ABC13

Crops Suffer Because of Weather


Reporter: Heather Rosenbaum | Videographer: Jonathan Merryman

Pittsylvania Co, VA – The extreme heat has Southside farmers worried about tobacco, soybeans and corn.

While the storms have had an effect, they say the biggest problem is the hot weather coupled with drought.

"We just don't get the seasons like we used to," said Clarance Emerson, a tobacco farmer.

With 100 plus degree heat, this season is taking a toll on

"You got up here and look at it and say, ‘Hmmm, am I going to make it or not'? Worry about it all the time. Don't get much sleep at night," he said.

Typically in the start of July, Emerson would be shoulder-high in his tobacco, but today the plants barely clear his waist.

"It just won't grow. You don't have water on it. You can see how the sun baked it, just cooking it. It ain't going to grow when it's that hot," said Emerson.

As Emerson looks through his 140 acres, he sees dollars lost.

"Ain't much you can do with it."

The lower stock is already gone, and he blames the hot temperatures. Other crops took a hit too.

Extension Agent Stephen Barts says some corn should be taller and thicker by now.

"It reverts back to maintaining its current mass and maintaining its current position versus trying to reproduce and set seed," he said.

Typical corn in Pittsylvania County serves one purpose: Feed livestock.

"A dairy cow has to eat every day it doesn't matter whether or not the corn crop is suffering or not," said Barts.

Now Emerson and other farmers look to the future hoping mother nature will work in their favor.

"It's going to be a long winter," said Emerson laughing.

Emerson says the ideal weather would be rain and lower temperatures. If he gets that, he says his season can be saved.

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