CHAPEL HILL – This summer’s heavy rains caused flooding in Chapel Hill and Carrboro, but helped some farmers around North Carolina while providing challenges to others.
The heavy rainfall that came this summer shocked many people from around the area, but had various impacts on farmers growing crops. Owner of Walter’s Unlimited farm, Roland Walters, said that the rain only made new seeding a little more difficult.
“It was just a little harder keeping things seeded or putting down new seeding,” Walter said “the produce that was already seeded, nothing growing, wasn’t any problem, wasn’t harmed or anything; we weren’t excessive enough in any way to be flooding or anything of that nature, it just delayed some seeding.”
Walter’s Unlimited raises cattle, hogs, chicken, and also grow a small amount of produce. Walter’s said that although seeding was delayed, the livestock benefited from the rain this summer and the grass that grew out of it.
“This was actually probably the best year we’ve ever had, we rely on a lot of grass.” Walter stated “It’s actually made for better environment and better growth for all our animals.”
Other farmers have had different experiences this summer dealing with the heavy rains and cloudy days. Wild Hare Farm’s owner, Lean Cook, said that the rainy season provided some challenges when growing many outdoor crops.
“It made it a pretty challenging summer with the cooler, cloudy weather and all the rain,” Cook said “it really increases foliar disease in particular, fungal diseases really escalate.”
Wild Hare Farm is not certified organic, but they still do not spray their produce to prevent fungal diseases. Cook grows some flowers and plants indoors which allowed for the rain and weather to not have as big an impact. Cook says that with the rain she encountered problems making out into the fields and dealing with diseases and weeds.
“Yea, spotty foliar diseases, the other thing is when it’s as wet as it was this summer it’s hard to get out an weed” Cook commented.
The weather this summer has been different from the past few years when we had high degree days and little rain. Walter’s says that because of the weather this year his livestock has been doing great.
“Hasn’t been excessively hot like it has the past few years, so I think it’s been a very good year, very good summer for our animals” Walters commented.
Although the rain’s this summer made some of the seeding for the next rotation of crops difficult, more grass has been available for livestock. Walter’s Unlimited had a successful year with the cooler weather and abundance of grass for livestock.