GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Farming is a staple here in North Carolina and many communities economically rely on agriculture. This is the time of year when farmers are planting seeds in the ground again.
Farmers have to carefully monitor weather patterns each planting season and this year it’s off to a good start. Local farmers say they could use a little more rain, but so far, things are going well as they plant corn, soybeans, cotton and more.
Something else farmers are excited about right now are commodity prices.
“You know, we’re looking at some really good prices for crops,” says Rod Gurganus, the Beaufort County Extension Director.
Farmers need to carefully strategy what they want to plant and how much.
“We did switch up things a little bit on our farm, said Lorenda Overman, a farmer in Eastern North Carolina. “This year we scaled back on our corn, and we bumped up our soybeans. They’re a little more rain tolerant and I think we’ll be in better shape.”
COVID-19 took a big hit on local farmers markets and “you pick” farms, but now things are changing.
“Agriculture has had a really solid chance to get vaccinated and I feel like a lot of us did,” Overman said. “I know farmers are excited about the opportunity to get back with their customers and talk about what they’ve done to provide food and fiber for their customers.”
Some industries in Eastern North Carolina are still facing setbacks this season like hog farms. Since last summer, many of them have been shut down due to issues at slaughter plants.
There is a concern farmers are facing related to the coronavirus. Due to the pandemic, agriculture workers are finding it difficult to get some inputs like fertilizer and pesticides because of short supply.