Hot, dry weather conditions are becoming a growing problem for Tennessee farmers

Posted at 5:01 PM, Jul 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-10 22:38:27-04

RIDDLETON, Tenn. (WTVF) — Catesa Farms has been in the McDonald family for five generations. It's snuggled in Riddleton, Tennessee, which is in Smith County.

On the land George McDonald grows, watermelons, strawberries, corn, soybeans and wheat.

As a farmer, McDonald said the job comes with its challenges but this year has been incredibly tough not just on him but on many farmers across the state and the South.

This long stretch of sweltering temperatures is hard on us all — but it's especially tough on our farmers.

The hotter the weather and dryer conditions mean fewer crops coming in.

"We will have less crops to sell this fall than what we have been having just because we don't have the rain that will produce the volume of bushels that we need," said McDonald.

The weather has been an ongoing problem for farmers this year.

McDonald said the weather conditions are making it extremely hard for his corn and soybeans.

"This year, we might have a few farms that happen to catch a little rain that was planted at that critical time might touch that. But we've got fields that I think 70 or 80 bushels is probably going to catch that."

Not all of Tennessee has been unusually dry, but everyone's been impacted by the heat.

McDonald said this will impact all of Tennessee.

"Agricultural is something that we all take for granted because it's so solid in the background farmers go about doing their job growing the crops, raising the livestock, producing the fiber that feed and clothe all of us. And we take all that for granted."

Tennessee's had more than 20 consecutive days of extreme heat and farmers are praying for a break.