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Local News

Drought Severely Affects North Carolina Corn Crops

Credit: iStock

Farmers across North Carolina, particularly in Iredell County, are grappling with severe drought conditions that have stunted crop growth. Andy Gray of Grayhouse Farms has faced multiple weather-related challenges this year, starting with heavy rains in May that caused corn seed to rot, followed by a prolonged dry spell. As a result, his corn, which should be eight to nine feet tall, is barely half that height. The heat wave has exacerbated the situation, drying out crops faster and stunting the pollination process, crucial for kernel production.

Gray expects his corn yield to be halved this season, impacting the silage he uses to feed his dairy cows. He anticipates harvesting only eight tons per acre, down from the usual 18-19 tons. The recent rain provided a glimmer of hope, with cooler temperatures and moisture helping the corn leaves open up, but much more rain is needed to save the crops. The drought has come at a critical time, affecting not just corn but also soybean crops, leading to significant concerns about the upcoming harvest.