Wet weather impacting crops in the east

Published: May. 18, 2016 at 8:16 PM EDT
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While farmers need rain, officials say all the rain we've had recently is creating problems with drainage in the soil and spreading diseases among crops like wheat and corn.

In a Beaufort County wheat field, leaves are brown or dead and some even have holes in them.

Beaufort County Extension Director Rod Gurganus, says that's because wet weather and cool temperatures are causing wheat crops to wither and decline.

He says the soil cannot properly drain all the water and the lack of sunshine has made it hard for the plants to dry out properly.

Gurganus says, "We've had disease problems that we haven't had in the past, that we weren't even familiar with, so it has really impacted the wheat in a negative way."

He also says corn crops are looking a little pale in color, but because they are still early in season, they still have a chance to improve.

Gurganus says agriculture is a $120-million industry in Beaufort County and if farmers can't yield the crops, they don't spend as much money on equipment and services and all of that hurts the local economy.

Gurganus says crop prices are also low and that's caused their wheat acreage numbers to drop significantly from last year.