STUTTGART, Ark – Despite rain forecasted for Arkansas, Farmers in the state said they’re still struggling to keep crops alive.
For Jay Coker, farmer at Coker Farms in Stuttgart, the current drought has been unusual.
“I’ve always been told that you know well it always rains, or it always dries up or you know we always get the crop out, we always get the crop in, but this is, this is unusual,” Coker said.
From the moment our crews pull on to the property at the farm, it was evident the dry weather has made an impact.
“You can see the dust all behind us,” Coker said.
Coker says in Stuttgart they have gotten about 8 inches of rain since June, decreasing water levels in creeks around the farm.
“We’re probably 10 to 12 feet below where we would normally start each spring,” Coker admitted.
Farmers say the lack of rain which already impacted the summer season is now filtering into the Fall.
“A farmer that has fall seeded crops, he’s got input prices, he’s got bills that are attached to that crop and not having moisture or having a delayed emergence of that crop it’s going to be very important to his financial future and his sustainability,” said Coker.
Coker says in the meantime farmers have had to adapt, using their time to minimize the long-term damage.
“We’ve tried to address weaknesses in our irrigation system. We have different crops we can plant at different times. Building levees, leveling land, doing things that we don’t normally get a chance to do,” said Coker.
Ultimately, they’re just hoping for rain.
Coker says if drought conditions stay the way they are throughout the winter, there is concern the same challenges will be present for the Spring planting season.