Beneficial rain helps farmers and the regional drought

Published: May. 4, 2023 at 5:48 PM EDT|Updated: May. 4, 2023 at 6:22 PM EDT
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ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - The rain we saw this past weekend was very beneficial to the drought we’ve had. This week’s drought update showed some improvement for the area but it’s important to know that the rain was not a drought buster. What the rain did do though is bring some natural water to crops.

John Humes, farmer and owner of Spring Creek Farm and Produce said he’s had to use irrigation techniques to make sure his crops keep growing. While the crops are still receiving water, natural rainfall is much better.

“We were irrigating, we were still watering the plants, still watering the strawberries here on the patch and everything. There’s nothing better than just a good rainfall that comes. As far as nutrients and stuff that comes with the rainfall, we can’t really replenish that,” said Humes.

Humes said too little rain is better than too much rain since you can irrigate. With dry weather though, maintaining the crops gets more costly.

“Sometimes as far as irrigating crops, the cost input compared to what you’re actually going to get out as far as return in investment in that product, in that seed, putting it into the ground sometimes will weigh itself out. Sometimes it’s not worth it,” said Humes.

Humes said now it’s best to get very warm sunny days with regular moisture.

Humes said this year is the earliest they have ever seen strawberries start to grow. While the rain was nice last weekend, the chilly and cloudy days this week have really slowed down progress in the growth of crops.