PLEASANT HOPE, Mo.– Searing heat and lack of rain have made life difficult for local farmers and their crops.
Nowadays, you can find Jake Agee checking the weather consistently.
Agee is a corn farmer in Pleasant Hope. He, like many other farmers and their crops, is feeling the impact of the heat and praying for an end to the lack of rain.
“We kind of went from one extreme to the other,” said Agee. “We went from cool early. We had really cool temperatures all the way up until May. The corn, I don’t like to get it in the ground until the soil is above 55 degrees. That kind of delayed planting a little bit this year. Then, we just went from kind of cool and wet to extreme hot and dry all at once.”
The current dry conditions and steamy temperatures visibly are starting to impact his crops.
“The leaves will actually curl and twist,” said Agee. “What that is doing is it is kind of the stress mechanism of the corn. It’s trying to keep that moisture in.”
While he said he does as much as he can to give his crops the best chance, he can’t control the weather.
The conditions will impact how successful his year goes.
“As far as yields, that’s where it gets a little nerve wracking,” said Agee. “For every 12 hours, at this stage of corn, every 12 hours that the corn is twisted up, you’re losing one percent yield. After it gets to a pollination stage and into the reproduction stage, every four hours you’re losing one percent yield.”
He said he uses the corn to primarily feed his animals. Despite the struggles, Agee said he is passionate about what he does.
“You can’t grow it if you don’t plant it,” said Agee.