Arkansas farmers said this year’s wet season is testing all of them.
"It's been challenging, it's been a struggle," Lonoke farmer Rick Bransford said.
Bransford has been farming in Lonoke for over 40 years.
But, central Arkansas’s rainfall has made last year the most difficult.
“It takes a toll on you physically, but we spiritually and emotionally kind of take it in stride,” Bransford said.
Robert Stobaugh has crops in Conway and Pope counties and describes the last few months as a horror movie and doesn’t plan on planting anything else this year.
“We came in here and planted soybeans this week and you can see what that looks like. Not sure if they’re going to make it now,” Stobaugh said.
Bransford’s land didn’t flood, but he still feels the effects.
“Indirectly, we were affected by the fertilizer, not being able to get it upstream to North Little Rock. We were having to pick up fertilizer in Helena and of course that added to the costs,” Bransford said.
He plants corn, cotton, rice, and soybeans, which face an uncertain future.
The crops need a solid foundation below the surface and Bransford said this year’s weather just hasn’t provided that.
When the grounds flood, it causes issues.
“Roots just chase water. And when you don’t have to chase water, they aren’t very long. They’re just right there at the base of the plant. And when it dries up so quickly, they can’t quite chase the water as quick as what you would like,” Bransford said.
The issues start with the farmers and continue to impact others who make a living in the ag business.
“That will trickle down to other things like the chemical companies, or farm supply companies, and the ag pilots. Airplanes that fly over us, they won’t be doing as much flying and we won’t be using as much chemicals,” Bransford said.
With more rain in the forecast this week, he’s hoping for the best.
“One, two, three-inch rain, we’d be ok with. It could help the things we’ve not gotten our irrigation to yet. It would kind of give us some relief there. Now, if they talk about four, five, six-inch rain, it would be not quite as appreciated.”
Farmers said they've seen a steady decline in income and many are living off
Despite this, they remain positive and hope things will look up.