Dry June Could Wither Middle Tennessee Crops

Farmer Charles Head tells childhood friend Walter Weakley that he hopes he can afford to keep all his cattle during the dry weather.

Farmers in Middle Tennessee say another week or so without rain could spell doom for many of their crops. Some fear the dry, 100 degree weather is an indicator of an oncoming drought, worse than the one in 2007.

That year, Tennessee suffered what’s called an “exceptional drought”; cities had trouble with their water supplies, and the UT agriculture office even had a hotline to counsel depressed farmers on losing their crops.

The state hasn’t reached that designation for now, but Cheatham County farmer Walter Weakley says this year already seems different.

The 62-year-old says even in drought years, he’s always seen a wet June, but so far, he and his neighbors have gotten ten times less rain than in 2007.

Walter Weakley says without rain, his corn will be on its deathbed in a week.

He worries about his corn and tobacco plants.

“Up until three weeks ago, it was as pretty a corn as I’d ever had, and it’s just gone downhill in three weeks.”

He says the bottom leaves of his corn are “burning off”, and that there are no chances of it growing in this hot, dry weather- the corn is just trying to stay alive.

The National Weather Service 7-day forecast calls for a slight chance of rain starting on Tuesday.

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