TN crops wilting under extreme temperatures - WSMV Channel 4

TN crops wilting under extreme temperatures

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CLARKSVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

The heat is taking a toll on Tennesseans' lawns, gardens and plans for the Fourth of July, but it's also hitting many where it really hurts - their wallet.

Walking through parched soy bean fields in Clarksville, Officer Dale Grandstaff, with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, said the outlook for this year's crops is grim.

"Those little blooms need water right now," he said.

The tobacco and corn crops are scorched, and even the weeds are dying.

"The weeds - usually you have to spray them to kill them, but they're wilting out here with the crops," Grandstaff said.

The dry fields won't only mean a difficult and expensive year for farmers, but if something doesn't change soon it will also likely affect everyone's wallet. Without rain, the crops clearly can't grow. And the lack of supply will mean higher prices at the grocery store.

"If you don't have the beans, you don't have the corn, the price is going to go up on it," Grandstaff said.

Then, to add insult to injury, utility officials at the Nashville Electric Service predict a rise in consumers' electricity bills as well.

That's partially because so many people are using more electricity to keep their homes cool.

"With temperatures over 100 degrees every day this week and the heat index approaching 105 degrees, people are going to see their air condition units running almost non-stop because of the hot temperature," said Tim Hill, with NES.

And the higher bills are also because of overall stress across the utility system.

"What we can do when the demand starts increasing on the system, we look for ways to decrease the demand. That's either by getting people to shed load by not doing washing or drying," Hill said. "Here at NES, what we start doing is turning off the non-essential lights in the building."

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