Despite helpful rain this month in Middle Tennessee, many counties across the area are experiencing severe drought conditions.
And the effects of that drought will likely soon move from the farm to your dinner table.
"If your boss came in and said, 'due to the lack of rain in June you're not going to get paid much this year,' you probably wouldn't like it too well," said Clarksville farmer Jay Head.
Head said it's just not normal to be in his fields on July 18 replanting soy beans, but unbearable heat and drought conditions this year are causing farmers to take some drastic steps.
"This year we haven't had a drop of rain, where we're standing, the whole month of June," Head said. "Fortunately last week we had three inches of rain, but you can tell looking at the ground today it's already soaked up and gone in the ground. And I'm out here planting beans hoping we have enough moisture to get them up."
The U.S. Department of Agriculture designated 39 counties in eight states, including Tennessee and Kentucky, as "primary natural disaster" areas Wednesday.
An additional 1,055 counties are considered disaster areas, which makes farm operators in those areas eligible for low-interest emergency loans and disaster assistance programs.
More than three-quarters of the country's corn and soybean crops are located in drought-affected areas.
"We never give up," Head said. "Obviously, this is our livelihood. We have to make the best out of the situation. We have to afford to keep going for the next year."
Copyright WSMV 2012 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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