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Limestone County farmers feeling the impact of the drought

A Limestone County farmer says his soybeans are producing fewer seeds and are smaller in size from the drought.

Posted: Sep 27, 2019 5:10 PM
Updated: Sep 27, 2019 5:20 PM

The hot, dry weather has now put much of North Alabama in a drought, and that's impacting crops.

WAAY 31 spoke with one man who is feeling the impact on his farm. The farmer says his soybeans now have fewer seeds in them because of the drought. He says they are smaller in size and less seeds are in the pods. He also worries the equipment could start a fire on his land.

"It's affected our late double crop soybeans. They were right at the point where they started to make beans and in the fruiting stage and it's gonna significantly affect the yield of those beans," said Stan Usery, a farmer in Limestone County.

Usery farms different types of produce in Limestone County and says this drought is impacting the amount of soybeans he will be producing for the season.

"It hurts the bottom line. That's income we won't have coming in that we were hoping to have," said Usery.

Usery says the soybeans are directly impacted by the drought, because they're watered naturally from the rain. He says these soybeans did well last year with moderate to high rain fall. He is preparing for harvest in mid-October because the drought is forcing him to harvest early.

That's not the only threat the drought brings. Usery says his crops are dusty and with all that dust getting in the machinery, he worries it could spark something.

"That's always something I take into account for. The harvesters and stuff we use, the amount of dust and dry material going through them...All it takes is a small spark to set off a fire," said Usery.

He says he's been here before, and he's optimistic.

"It'll end at some point and we'll either be talking about floods then. We usually go to one extreme to another," he said.

The drought in Alabama is impacting other farmers as well. Farmers that have pastures are having a difficult time, as the grass is too dry for their animals to eat, resulting to feeding them hay.

A moderate drought is issued for five counties in North Alabama, while areas close to Sand Mountain remain in a severe drought.

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