Drought conditions affect local farmers

MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - After several weeks of high temperatures, some local counties are now experiencing a moderate drought.

Clarke County farmer Ridge Mathis said the dry weather is affecting his crops.

“We’ve kind of had to delay planting," said Mathis. "We normally plant around October and stuff because it’s cooler temperatures but this October has been pretty warm.”

Mathis, who works in the family produce business, says due to lack of rain, they had to find a way to water crops so they can be sold in a few months.

“We’ve had to run irrigation lines for the past two weeks just to try to soften up the dirt in the ground so that way we could plant the plants," said Mathis. "Now that we’ve got them planted, they’re at risk of wilting away with the hot temperatures and the dry weather.”

Mathis says he hopes the upcoming rain will help. Good news for him, it’s expected to do just that.

WTOK Chief Meteorologist Stephen Bowers said the area could see some pretty heavy rainfall over the next few days.

"In that time frame some of us could get more than 3 inches of rain," said Bowers. "That will be hugely beneficial especially with a little bit more than a 4 inch rainfall deficit since September the 1st.”

It's safe to say Mathis isn’t the only one ready for some wet weather.

“This year just kind of took us by surprise that it’s stayed this warm and this dry for this long," said Mathis.

Other counties experiencing drought conditions include Lauderdale, Kemper and Noxubee and also, parts of Choctaw, Sumter and Marengo counties in Alabama.