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Heavy rain causing muddy mess for local farmers - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Heavy rain causing muddy mess for local farmers

Boone Hall Farms Boone Hall Farms
Legare Farms Legare Farms
CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) -

Many local farmers are at least a week behind planting fall crops and pumpkins for their pumpkin patches.

They’re scrambling to have those crops ready in time.

"My granddaddy used to say too much rain is worst than not enough sometimes," said Thomas Legare.

The dirt is plowed, now Legare is putting down fertilizer.

"For our pumpkin patch that happens in October," said Legare.

Legare Farms attracts thousands throughout the year and the pumpkin patch is a big deal.

"No matter what, if it's pouring rain then we're getting pumpkins planted," said Legare.

He is determined to get those seeds in the ground, even as clouds above threaten to keep him off track for a second week.

"We couldn't even get into the fields last week because it was so wet and tractors about bogged down on me," said Legare.

The life-long farmer does appreciate the rain, but he just needs a couple of days with fewer downpours to prepare his land.

Legare said, "It's a problem right now for all farmers in the coastal area."

Standing water over at Boone Hall Farms in Mount Pleasant is also causing a few setbacks.

"Out of 11 weeks, it's rained almost 10 weeks here," said Jadie Rayfield.

Rayfield says they're waiting for the soil to dry a little more before they can get those fall crops like kale, squash and broccoli planted.

But he says the water isn't all bad.

Rayfield said, "We welcome water, we welcome water."

The rain has filled the two irrigation ponds on the farm back up to 5 and 6 feet.

"We were almost dry two weeks ago before all the rain started," said Rayfield.

While the soggy ground has caused a few delays, for the most part farmers expect to have everything ready in time for the fall season.

Legare says the rain is also causing issues for people who bale hay.

It's used to feed cattle here in Lowcountry and a lot of us use them for decorations.

Right now there is no shortage, but farmers say more rain could cause problems.

Pastures across the state in poor condition

Reports from the U.S. Department Agriculture show 35% of SC pastures are considered to be in poor to very poor condition. That percentage is higher than any state in the Southeast.

The amount of rain that has fallen across the state is different depending on where you live.

Legare says the land on his Johns Island farm is doing fairly well. 

Other farmers in the western part of the state can't say the same.

As of last week three sections of our state near the Georgia border showed unusually dry conditions. Parts of Colleton and Beaufort Counties are also be affected.
 
The good news is that our pastures are starting to do better because right now the percentage of those in poor condition is going down.  ?

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