Cold and wet weather has been keeping farmers out of the fields - - The News for South Mississippi

Cold and wet weather has been keeping farmers out of the fields

HINDS COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Riding through the fields of Scott Cannada's farms near Edwards, it's easy to see why he's worried about this year's crop. Water is standing between the rows of corn he planted three weeks late, some of it has drowned, and soybeans haven't been put in the ground.

"(I've) never seen it this wet, this long in the spring time," said Cannada.  

Corn and soybeans are the eighth generation farmer's main crops. He owns or manages about 2,500 acres of farm land in Hinds County.  

Unseasonably cool and wet weather has kept Cannada, his father, and employees from working more than three days straight this planting season. 

An underground spring is welling water up into one corn field. When you add the rain and cold weather that we've  had the past couple of months, the results are some plants that have grown only a few inches tall in about a month's time. This time of year corn stalks should be standing about waist high.

Cannada says he planted all of the corn he wanted to but much of it doesn't have a good stand.

Thirty two point fifteen inches of rain has fallen at the Jackson - Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport this year, according to the National Weather Service in Jackson. That is 10.85 inches above normal this time of year.  

The Hinds County farmer says his corn yields will be hurt, although Cannada believes there is still hope for soybeans. He needs about a week of dry weather to plant and some timely rains this summer.

"A lot of people have switched their corn acreage over to soybeans or cotton, and now people are beginning to switch cotton acres over to soybeans. So, it's looking like we're going to have a huge soybean crop in Mississippi this year," explained Cannada.  

Yields in the Midwest control most of the prices you see at the grocery store. However, the impacts of Mississippi's slow growing season will be felt beyond the dinner table.

"My employees, who are used to making 60 hours a week and they are making 30 hours this year. The fuel suppliers aren't selling fuel because we're not burning fuel in our tractor. The chemical suppliers are not selling the chemicals because people are changing over from corn to soybeans," explained Cannada.

He says equipment and land prices have increased since last year but expenses remain about the same for farmers. Cannada believes corn and soybean prices are down 15-25% from this time last year.

He understands when your bank account depends on mother nature there will be ups and downs.

"It's a lot of faith in farming. I don't know how anybody can farm without having faith that The Lord will provide for your family," said Cannada.  

Farmers can insure their crops but must plant by a certain timeline. There would also be assistance available if a natural disaster was declared.

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