Too Much Rain Drowning Crops

By: Stephen Bowers Email
By: Stephen Bowers Email

Just a month and a half ago, local rainfall was nearly ten inches below normal. Now the deficit is almost non-existent.

Rain has fallen on thirty-three of the last fifty-seven days.

That sounds good, considering Mississippi and Alabama have been in a drought for the past three years. But in this case, we are dealing with too much of a good thing in too short a time period.

Wayne Porter of the Mississippi State Extension Service says agriculture across Mississippi is suffering.

"Agriculture, particularly the field crops, agronomic crops, are very important in the state of Mississippi, brings in several hundreds of millions of dollars in income each year to the state," Porter said.

Many crops are drowning because of the persistent heavy rainfall.

"I haven't seen any final estimates yet, but it's going to be significant and we are going to be considered a disaster area because there's so much rainfall," said Porter.

Mississippi's sweet potato crop may be one of the hardest hit with an overall loss estimated at seventy-five percent. It isn't the only crop impacted, and an impact like this can only mean one thing, a rise in prices at the grocery stores.

"We get a lot of rainfall. Probably our average here is about 54 or 55 inches a year," said Porter. "If we could get one inch a week that would be ideal, but we don't get it that way."

Rainfall totals for September and October have been 14 inches. That's an average of nearly two-and-a-half inches per week, more than double what we need in a two-month period.

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