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Farmers in Arkansas fighting a drought to keep their crops alive



Stuttgart, Arkansas – Despite rain being predicted for Arkansas, farmers there claimed they are still having difficulty maintaining crop life.

The present drought has been unusual, according to Stuttgart-based farmer Jay Coker of Coker Farms.

“I’ve always been told that you know well it always rains, or it always dries up or you know we always get the crop out, we always get the crop in, but this is, this is unusual,” Coker said.

It was clear the dry weather had an effect as soon as our crews pulled into the farm’s grounds.

“You can see the dust all behind us,” Coker said.

According to Coker, Stuttgart has had around 8 inches of rain since June, which has caused the water levels in the nearby creeks to drop.

“We’re probably 10 to 12 feet below where we would normally start each spring,” Coker admitted.

According to Farmers, the lack of rain which already impacted the summer season is now filtering into the Fall.

“A farmer that has fall seeded crops, he’s got input prices, he’s got bills that are attached to that crop and not having moisture or having a delayed emergence of that crop it’s going to be very important to his financial future and his sustainability,” said Coker.

In the meantime farmers have had to adapt, using their time to minimize the long-term damage, Coker said.

“We’ve tried to address weaknesses in our irrigation system. We have different crops we can plant at different times. Building levees, leveling land, doing things that we don’t normally get a chance to do,” said Coker.

In the end, all they are looking for is rain.

According to Coker, there is concern that the same difficulties will exist during the Spring planting season if drought conditions persist through the winter.

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