Rain in Lenoir County helps drought, little help to some farmers

LENOIR COUNTY, NC (WITN) - Rainfall was a relief for local farmers, however, they still expect the drought will result in crop loss.

Farmer Warren Hardy has corn and soybean fields in Lenoir County. He says the combination of dryness and extreme heat for several weeks will cut his harvest in a way he hasn’t experienced since 1985.

“There is a loss... If I had planted them all in May, I’d have been looking at a 60-bushel crop. At this timeframe, we’re probably looking at a 30-bushel crop,” referring to soybeans, which he planted some of on Monday.

Lenoir County Emergency Services said a report from the National Weather Service showed the county received, on average, 1.5-3.5 inches of rain over the weekend.

Experts with the Farm Bureau say corn will likely be the most lost crop, followed by cotton and soybeans.

Hardy added, “I think there’s a chance to recover, not to full capacity, but I think there’s a chance to recover.”

Along with the drought came a burn ban that stretched 18 Eastern North Carolina counties, including Lenoir. The state has lifted that ban.

While rain helps, experts say, it will take weeks of consistent rainfall for land to fully recover.