Quantcast

Wheat Farmers Hit Hard by Heavy Rain - abc27 WHTM

Wheat Farmers Hit Hard by Heavy Rain

Posted:

Pittsylvania Co., VA - The rain does a good job of cooling things off, but it's been a major problem this year for wheat farmers.

In his past 15 years of growing wheat, Clarence Emerson has never seen a season this bad.

"We just had too much rain this year," Emerson said. 

Of the 150 acres Emerson planted, 60 of them sprouted. Once wheat starts to sprout, it loses its germ properties, making it worthless to the companies that purchase it to make flour and other products.

"You talking about a pretty good chunk of change as far as financial loss, and I don't know if the crop insurance is going to help me out or not," Emerson said. 

Extension agent Stephen Barts says most of the crops began to sprout or develop fungus because the rain prevented farmers from harvesting it on time, and many ran the chance of getting their equipment stuck.

"A combine is not made to run on mud and that's what a lot of growers were seeing," said Barts. 

Pittsylvania County is not a major production area for wheat, the area is mostly a supplement for farmers who grow tobacco. With 8,000 acres dedicated to wheat, however, Barts says a rainy season like this can still be a huge blow.

"We don't think about it as one of a really high value crop, but it's certainly becoming a larger and larger portion of our agri-nomic crops in the county," Barts said. 

Now, with this season being a bust, farmers like Emerson have one wish for next year:

"A perfect season, weather-wise anyway. that's what I'm hoping for," said Emerson.

In some cases, wheat that has sprouted can still be used as feed for animals, but Emerson says he's had no luck with that, either.

Emerson says he's now in the process of filing an insurance claim for his loss.



  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Father, son among 12 charged for bath salts

    Father, son among 12 charged for bath salts

    Friday, August 8 2014 5:25 PM EDT2014-08-08 21:25:32 GMT
    Prosecutors have announced charges against 12 people, including a man and his son, for allegedly selling bath salts and other illegal drugs in Lebanon County.More >>
    Prosecutors have announced charges against 12 people, including a man and his son, for allegedly selling bath salts and other illegal drugs in Lebanon County.
    More >>
  • Coroner: Starvation contributed to death of Harrisburg boy, 9

    Coroner: Starvation contributed to death of Harrisburg boy, 9

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 3:19 PM EDT2014-08-19 19:19:58 GMT
    The Dauphin County coroner says starvation and dehydration contributed to the death of a 9-year-old Harrisburg boy.More >>
    The Dauphin County coroner says starvation and dehydration contributed to the death of a 9-year-old Harrisburg boy.More >>
  • Police: Family, pets were living in squalor

    Police: Family, pets were living in squalor

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 5:07 PM EDT2014-08-19 21:07:18 GMT
    "How do you feel when you see the kitties in there?" we asked a curious young girl peering into the side window of the trailer across the street from hers.More >>
    "How do you feel when you see the kitties in there?" we asked a curious young girl peering into the side window of the trailer across the street from hers.
    More >>
Powered by WorldNow