The condition of corn in the 18 highest producing states has deteriorated due to widespread drought. The latest report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture says 30% of the crop is now considered in poor or very poor condition. Farmers everywhere, including the east, are suffering.
At Strawberries on 903 in Winterville farmers say they are starting their days earlier in hopes of beating the afternoon heat, and once they get to work they quickly try to pick all the fruits and vegetables that are ripe so the crops don't get sun damage.
Farmer Mike Skinner tells me there are a few crops very tolerant to this hot weather, such as okra and tomatoes. However they have already lost about 20% of their overall product to the heat- mainly cucumbers and squash. Fortunately, all of the crops are planted on top of an irrigation system that pumps water into the root of plants in efforts to keep it hydrated.
"You got so much invested in this crop and then you got the added challenge of the hot weather, so you really need to stay on top of things to get your crops harvested and then get them into coolers as quick as you can," said Skinner
Skinner says what concerns them more than the excessive heat is severe weather.
"Severe storms bring too much water at one time, and then the wind that comes with these storms- you got crops that are loaded with fruit and it doesn't take much wind to blow them down and then you have a big problem with crops laying on the ground," said Skinner