Heavy rainfall causing problems for local farmers

JACKSON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Parts of Jackson County have received more than five inches of rain over the past two weeks.

Regional Crop Extension Agent Ethan Carter said the rain has caused problems with weeds and pests.

"The amount of rainfall itself has not necessarily been a problem," Carter said. "It's been the frequency of the rainfall events. For the past seven days, we've been getting rainfall sporadically across the county. Some fields getting more, some getting less. As a result, fields are very saturated."

Ken Barton is the Executive Director of the Florida Peanut Producers Association. He's also a peanut and cotton farmer in Holmes County. He said this heavy rainfall is affecting when farmers can get in the fields.

"The longer the farmers are out of the field, doing the field work, the more likely that it'll affect the plants, the health of the plants, and eventually the yield," Barton said.

Some crops need harvesting, but the wet ground is keeping equipment out.

"We can't get into the fields. We'll be at risk for disease if we keep these sunny days that we've got like today- it'll pose a risk for leaf spots, white mold, some other diseases," Carter said.

For now, they're waiting it out.

"I'll tell ya, one thing about peanut farmers is they're really resilient," Barton said. "They're ready to go when the weather permits. They're always optimistic that the weather's going to change... and that it's going to change for the better."