LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- It has been two months since most Arkansas farmers have seen any measurable amount of rainfall. It is a drought that is causing a disaster on farms across the state and now the Governor is hoping the federal government will intervene.
Governor Beebe is asking for a disaster declaration for the entire state due to the dry conditions. The declaration will allow low interest federal loans to become available for farmers but the damage may already be done.
"It's going to be devastating," says Robert Stobaugh.
A quick shower Tuesday afternoon is the first sight of rain on his farm in 60 days and what little Mother Nature gave him came too late.
"Basically we've had supplemental rainfall instead of supplemental irrigation," says Stobaugh. "There's not any chance for us to be profitable this year. We'll do good to hang on. There's always that ole saying about Arkansas weather. Just wait a minute and it will change but we're pretty far behind the eight ball this time," says Stobaugh.
Stobaugh expects only 30 percent of his soybean crop to make harvest this year and what rice and corn he produces will have come at a high cost.
"What crops you see growing on our farm. Those crops have been irrigated to the point of their existence. Otherwise, they would not be here," says Stobaugh.
It's a story being told across the state and Tuesday Governor Beebe asked the federal government to step in.
"There are certain federal programs including some low interest loans and some federal relief that would be available if the feds declare it a disaster," said Governor Beebe.
But Stobaugh says while the help is appreciated, this drought will force farmers into recovery for years.
"This is going to be so widespread that it's going to be hard for those programs to do what the farmers are going to need done. Any type of assistance that's out there, producers will find the programs within that that will help them and utilize that to try to scrap by," says Stobaugh.
Scraping by is what Stobaugh will have to do for the rest of the year, holding on to the hope of better luck next spring.
"We'll try. We'll do what we can. Just see if we can hang on," says Stobaugh.
Stobaugh says the effects of the drought don't end with farmers. Just about any vegetable or baking product at the grocery store contains some soy or corn byproduct. And with a slump in production, Stobaugh says you can expect those prices to be affected as well.
Governor Beebe says he expects the disaster declaration to come fairly quickly. The governor sent a similar request for 13 drought stricken counties last month.