FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – Farmers in the Sandhills are hoping for rain sooner than later.
The current drought conditions are causing them to lose crops including corn and money.
William Gillis is the owner of Gillis Hill Farm in both Cumberland and Robeson counties.
He farms about a thousand acres of land between both counties. Gillis expects to lose 50 percent of his corn field to the drought. Leaves on the corn have already turned brown and are still not fully grown.
“It’s really suffering. This year is a huge difference from last year,” Gillis said.
The hot temperatures and little to no rain in the last few weeks have led to less than ideal conditions, which are negatively impacting the corn.
The National Drought Mitigation Center’s most recent map shows Eastern North Carolina, including the Sandhills, is between abnormally dry to severe drought.
“This is really bizarre time in the country and in the world. A lot of things have come together to create a perfect storm of a bad situation,” the farmer said.
Farmers are also hit by the recent inflation when it comes to supplies, equipment, and fuel prices.
Gillis said the market price for corn doesn’t offset those expenses. It could force some farmers to plant less, which would make certain products harder to get.
“If you’re not in a good position farm wise then it could mean the difference in staying in business,” Gillis said.
He said it takes at least 1.5 inches of rain per week to keep the crops growing. Gillis worries about the drought going well into soybean season, which is around October.