Heavy rain affecting crops and bugs - WSPA.com

Heavy rain affecting crops and bugs

Posted: Updated:
GREENVILLE, N.C. -

Enough is enough. That's what local farmers have to say about all this rain we've seen.

The heavy downpours over the last two weeks have destroyed their crops.

"I just hope everything will get better and it will quit raining one of these days...maybe," Pitt County farmer, Robert Halstead said.

That's the general consensus among farmers across the east. Excessive rain and winds are causing a huge set-back, especially for wheat and tobacco farmers.

"The rain is mashing it into the ground. It's knocking it onto the ground so I'm afraid that the wheat that's in the field is going to be very poor quality," said Pitt County farmer, Chris Stancill.

Farmers at "Stancill Farms" in Ayden took cell phone video of their fields just last week. It shows ditches overflowing.

"You got ditches in the field but if the ditches can't empty, the water can't go nowhere. It's just going to stay there so it's something that we're going to have to ride out," said Halstead.

And the heavy equipment and thick mud aren't exactly friends.

"You can't get in the fields to apply your fertilizer to the crops, you can't get your weed herbicides out onto the crops so you got a weed issue, not just the crops drowning, the crops are obviously drowning from too much water," said Stancill.

As for the economic toll the weather is taking…

"With the investment that farmers have now, with the type of equipment that we use and the increase in prices on fertilizers, it's going to be devastating," said Halstead.

"A lot of the older farmers told me when I was growing up that you're only 5 days away from a flood and 10 days away from a drought so you have to be ready for either one," said Stancill.

The rain isn't just affecting crops, it's affecting the bugs too! Particularly, mosquitoes.

The rain is bringing out a bigger, more aggressive breed.

They're going to be on the flight, they're going to be on the wing and they are and they can ....they hurt. The big ones hurt. The little ones just aggravate you but the big ones hurt," said James Gardner, laughing.

Gardner is the Vector Control manager for Pitt County. A lot of people know him as "the mosquito guy."

It's not an easy job. He's responsible for collecting and identifying the dozens of species here in the east. The rain has put a temporary halt on spraying for the bugs, even so, Gardner says spraying only does so much good.

"Once they come out and they're flying, the mosquito sprayer only kills those that it hits so it's a whole lot easier to handle them while they're in the water," said Gardner.

When it's time to take matters into your own hands, how can you fight the bite?

 

  1. Dress Appropriately: if you can, wear long sleeves at dusk and dawn.
  2. Get rid of standing water: that includes changing water in pet bowls and bird baths at least once a week.
  3. Use insect repellant.

"They're there. They're going to be there, particularly until we dry out," said Gardner.

Also, beware of west-Nile virus. Chances of getting the virus are usually relatively low, but last year there was active case in Pitt County.

"So far it has not been isolated in any of the flocks this year. I would expect though that it may. And the thing is though, it's hard to say, it's really almost impossible to say what the risk of it is. The risk is there. The virus hasn't died off and gone away," said Gardner.

Follow those steps and Gardner says you're on your way to being a "Skeeter Defeater"

For more information about mosquitoes or West Nile Virus contact your local health department or the NC Public Health Pest Management Section at (919) –733-6407. You may also view Public Health Pest Management's website at www.deh.enr.state.nc.us.

  • Top StoriesTop StoriesMore>>

  • Foul Play Suspected In Union Missing Person Investigation

    Foul Play Suspected In Union Missing Person Investigation

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 11:15 PM EDT2014-04-16 03:15:36 GMT
    Officers roped off the scene on Union BlvdOfficers roped off the scene on Union Blvd
    City of Union Public Safety investigators were at the scene of a home on Union Blvd Tuesday night investigating a missing person case.
    City of Union Public Safety investigators were at the scene of a home on Union Blvd Tuesday night investigating a missing person case.
  • Bass Pro Shops Considering Spartanburg Co., Sources Tell Paper

    Bass Pro Shops Considering Spartanburg Co., Sources Tell Paper

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 10:30 PM EDT2014-04-16 02:30:59 GMT
    Sources tell our coverage partners at the Spartanburg Herald Journal, Bass Pro Shops is considering building near the BMW facility at the intersection of Highway 101 and Interstate 85.
    Sources tell our coverage partners at the Spartanburg Herald Journal, Bass Pro Shops is considering building near the BMW facility at the intersection of Highway 101 and Interstate 85.
  • 11 Upstate High Schools Among Nations "Most Challenging"

    11 Upstate High Schools Among Nations "Most Challenging"

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 10:03 PM EDT2014-04-16 02:03:25 GMT
    A new ranking released Tuesday by the Washington Post lists 11 local high schools as some of the nation's most challenging. A new ranking released Tuesday by the Washington Post lists 11 local high schools as some of the nation's most challenging.
    A new ranking released Tuesday by the Washington Post lists 11 local high schools as some of the nation's most challenging. Schools are measured by how well they prepare their students for college level work. 8 Greenville County schools made the list. Greenville's Southside High School earned the number 2 spot in the state and 189 on a national list of more than 2000. 2 Spartanburg County schools also made the list....
    A new ranking released Tuesday by the Washington Post lists 11 local high schools as some of the nation's most challenging. Schools are measured by how well they prepare their students for college level work. 8 Greenville County schools made the list. Greenville's Southside High School earned the number 2 spot in the state and 189 on a national list of more than 2000. 2 Spartanburg County schools also made the list....
Powered by WorldNow

250 International Dr.
Spartanburg, S.C. 29303

Telephone: 864.576.7777
Fax: 864.587.5430
Email: webmaster@wspa.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.