Heavy rain affects farmers, possibly produce prices
Many local farmers say the excessive rain we've experienced in recent weeks has dampened their sales. (Source: WECT)
Farmers like Jerry Robinson, from Columbus County, walk a delicate line when it comes to dealing with Mother Nature. (Source: WECT)
WHITEVILLE, NC (WECT) -
Farmers across southeastern, NC are getting drenched with summer rains – causing a delay in planting and, in some cases, driving the cost of produce.
Many local farmers say the excessive rain we've experienced in recent weeks has dampened their sales.
Farmers like Jerry Robinson, from Columbus County, walk a delicate line when it comes to dealing with Mother Nature. As the saying goes, "A dry season will scare you but a wet season can ruin you."
At his farm in Whiteville, Robinson grows everything from cantaloupes, to squash, to tomatoes; however, sales in 2014 haven't been quite as fruitful as usual.
The heavy rain fall that we've experienced this summer has ruined thousands of dollars worth of his crops.
Robinson says a little rain helps, but too much of a good thing can have a negative effect on the size, color, and quality of his produce.
"Even in a ripe state, it causes the fruit to split," said Robinson, while holding a rotten tomato. "This means it's not marketable. It's still good to eat, but the quality is not there."
Without quality, there are no customers, and without customers Robinson worries about being able to support his family.
"These rains came out of nowhere this past weekend. Before, we were doing alright. But this past weekend the rains really set us back," Robinson said. "So it does affect your thoughts about your livelihood."
Robinson said that the crops that survived the rain are already in the market place now. But if the rain continues on a steady pace, then some products won't make the cut, which could force the customer to pay more for fresh local produce.
Looking ahead, like many farmers in the southeast, Robinson has already started his fall plantings, including tomatoes and pumpkins. Robinson said he hopes to right the ship before Halloween comes around.