It comes as no surprise that for the last several months Mississippi has been experiencing very dry and hot weather, but the climate has been especially difficult on farmers, even affecting some of their business.
For the men and women who make a living off of their crops, 2016 has proven to be a challenging year.
“I’ve seen dry years before but i haven’t ever seen them two years in a row for this length of time,” farmer Tim Cooper with Cooper farms and vineyard said.
For a man who has been doing this for 38 years, Tim Cooper knows a dry spell when he sees one.
“We got our last big rain back in the first of may and we’ve had a few little showers here and there but it really didn’t amount to much but it’s been sort of a dry hot summer,” he said.
Cooper and other farmers are relying on their irrigation systems to get them through this tough time.
“We’re putting community water into the irrigation system it’s got the stuff the health department requires it’s not a natural water like a good rain,” Bob Stolzfus with Bobkat Farms said.
Bob Stolzfus says the plants will survive they just won’t thrive as much.
The dry climate combined with the hot weather serves as a death sentence during this time of the year.
“My fall vegetables you know your greens and your broccoli and stuff needs cooler in order to grow, they can’t grow in hot weather, and when you have 70 degree nights in September and October, and 80 to 90 degree temperature in the daytime, you know, those type of vegetables just won’t grow,” Cooper explained.
“It’s just mother nature you just adapt. that’s the beauty of farming gotta do what you gotta do,” Stolzfus said.
That’s exactly what they’re doing, but for cooper the damage will last another year.
“One of my main crops is muscadines and i will not see the effect of the drought and the heat until next year,” Cooper said.
Both farmers told us this year has been unusual, because they have been forced to use their irrigation most of the time.