Summer Harvests, Despite Weather Conditions
ALACHUA - As the summer is coming to an end, local farmers are evaluating their crop for the season. It’s come to show that the weather this summer has been inconsistent for those in the agriculture field.
While July set an all-time record for heavy rainfall. Throughout the summer things seem to have gotten a little better. The farmers I talked to today, say their hopes of big summer harvests weren't washed away.
This summer was a rough one for farmers. Johnny Prescott a local farmer says, "Some of it, has been devastating... And every field is different, every year, every season is different."
Tom Shaw owner of "Shaw & Shaw Farms" has been farming all his life. One of the things he harvests is hay and due to this summer's weather, he's expecting a shortage.
"I am afraid it's going to be a little short come this fall because Georgia which we get a lot of hay down from Georgia they had the same problem we did this year a lot of rain. A lot of their hay got wet also," Shaw said.
Shaw says rain is a must but too much of it can be detrimental like in July which went down as the fourth rainiest month on record.
"Basically all crops need a little bit of rain here in Florida, with these 90 degree days. We need at least two inches a week... And we get quite a bit at times and this year happened to be a real rainy season,” Shaw said.
Shaw's partner Tim Vaughn says the persistent rain earlier this summer in North Central Florida drowned a lot of row crops like peas.
"We had about 300 acres of peas that for instance the rain killed us on. We got them ready to harvest but then a month ago it was raining more and off and on all day and we lost the whole 300 acres," Vaughn said.
Vaughn's specialty is peanuts, a crop which is very dependent on the weather. In order to have a good harvest, local farmers say you want the rain during the time the peanuts are growing. But once they've matured you don't need that rain anymore.
"Well you want the rain during the time that they're growing especially when you're putting on peanuts and putting the nuts on... You want your rain in until about harvest and then you kinda want a drought like what we're having now and sunny hot days are great for harvest right now," Vaughn said.
As far as rain levels, we are currently half an inch below average and that's because the rain has been primarily inconsistent. Despite the weather conditions these farmers say they're planning to "keep calm and farm on..."
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