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Drought takes toll on North Carolina agriculture

Critical drought conditions affect 99 counties, endangering key crops during peak season.


The current agricultural crisis in North Carolina is marked by an extensive drought, affecting nearly the entire state, according to recent statements from the North Carolina Department of Agriculture.

Dr. Jeffrey Dorfman from N.C. State University reports that the drought has hit during a critical growth period, potentially devastating for crop yields and farmer incomes.

This year marks a significant increase in drought conditions, with the North Carolina Drought Management Advisory Council noting an unprecedented spread across 99 counties. The drought has drastically affected crops, with corn particularly hard hit — USDA reports show a significant deterioration in corn conditions through June.

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler has called for comprehensive reporting and engagement from farmers to address the crisis, noting the importance of timely interventions and support, especially as many crops reach a critical phase in their growth cycle.

The lack of precipitation, coupled with high temperatures, has not only reduced crop quality but also increased the burden on resources, such as water for irrigation, as pointed out by the Department of Environmental Quality.

The situation is so severe that even drought-tolerant crops like peanuts are showing stress, highlighting the widespread impact of the current conditions.

The state's agricultural experts, including Corey Davis from the State Climate Office, recognize the potential for hurricanes to provide needed rain but also warn of the risks associated with such heavy and sudden precipitation.

This challenging period for North Carolina farmers underscores the need for effective drought management strategies and robust support systems to mitigate the adverse effects of such environmental conditions on agriculture.

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