Drought Causing Problems in Pike County

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By Jessica Gertler

The U.S. Drought Monitor shows 90 percent of the state is now suffering from dry conditions or a full-blown drought, and unless we see more rain, crops could be affected in our area.

Pike County farmer Billy Hixon says the recent rain showers have kept his peanuts from wilting, but he says it's not enough to ease his concerns.

"It was just a total disaster last year, and you know, it could be that this year," says Hixon.

If all goes as planned and mother nature pulls through, Hixon says he may finally produce a strong crop of peanuts.

"I put all my eggs in one basket this year, I didn't plant any corn. Just planted everything in peanuts," he says. 

In the last week, Hixon says his farm, near the Pike County town of Banks, has received enough rain to keep his crops alive.

But he says unless his peanuts get a half inch of precipitation a week, they may be doomed. 

"All we can do is pray and hope the good lord will send us rain as we need it, but right now it seems, rain is just hard to come by," Hixon says.

Firefighters say the hot, dry conditions are perfect for fueling fires. 

They say if we don't get any rain, we could see more and more grass fires pop up around the state.

"We've seen where they've had trouble in other parts of the state already with grass fires, and this is just from people traveling and throwing out cigarettes," says Troy Fire Chief Thomas Outlaw.

Firefighters say grills can also be dangerous in this drought. They say you should never leave your grill unattended, and make sure to keep it 10 feet away from anything that will burn. That includes your home, fences, decks and awnings.

 

Peanut Farmers say right now, their crops don't need as much rain as they will in the end of July and early August. They says that's when their pods will be growing, and it's critical they get water.

 

 

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