Burke County farmers worried about crop production during heat wave

Burke County farmers worried about crop production during heat wave

(WFXG) - Farmers in Burke County say they need some rain or else they might be in trouble.

Burke is a big farming county and mother nature plays a huge role in their economy.

"It's getting to be a crucial time where we need a good bit of water," said Burke County farmer Gaines Story. "It makes you lose a little sleep at night as it is now, but there is also hope that it will bring us out of it a little bit."

Gaines Story runs a farm with his dad, about 40 percent of their farm can be irrigated, but that gets expensive, and as for the rest of their crops, that's up to mother nature.

"If we don't get a rain in the next week or two it can be definitely cause for concern," said Story. 

According to the FarmGate Value report, Burke County is a top agriculture county, bringing in roughly $150 million dollars per year. However, this year is one of the worst the county has seen when it comes to the evapotranspiration rate.

Burke County Extension Coordinator Peyton Sapp explained what that means. 

"So the evapotranspiration rate, not only have we not had the rainfall, but that water is being lost at a greater rate," said Sapp.

It's not a crop crisis yet, but the rainfall is needed.

"If we go two weeks or less with half an inch of water then we are in a critical situation, yes," said Sapp.

But Sapp says don't panic, Burke county has some of the most cutting edge farmers around.

"They are just a very shrewd group of people who are really good managers, they like to be outdoors and spend a

tremendous amount of time in what they do," said Sapp