Farmers face a challenge with weeks long drought

SEMINOLE, Ala. (WALA) – If you take a walk through a good part of the peanut crop at Kaiser Farms, you’ll find that many of them aren’t as lush as they should be.

“When you see some peanuts that that are looking this distressed, leaves curled up, we’re seeing some severe losses in yield,” Mark Kaiser said.

Kaiser is getting ready to harvest his peanuts soon, but the lack of rain in recent weeks makes him worried.

“You’re always optimistic if you’re a farmer it’s going to rain next week. And it’s stretching on into six weeks, then you start getting nervous,” Kaiser said.

He said it’s already resulted in the loss of about a fifth of what he normally plants. He said it could get worse if things don’t change soon.

“The dry land peanuts could be half of what they should’ve been. Right now they may be two thirds, but they’re dropping fast every day that we see without water,” Kaiser said.

He told Fox10 News that many farmers he’s spoken with in Baldwin County complain about the same thing. He uses irrigation on some parts of his peanut crop, but using it on everything just isn’t cost effective. So he’s left asking: what’s next?

“It’s like my crop consultant said when we got the irrigators going. He said what are you going to do about the fields that don’t have irrigation? I just told him you better pray. It’ll be what it is when we get to harvest,” Kaiser said.

And with a 40 percent chance of rain forecast for Friday, he hopes to start seeing a change soon.

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