Heavy rains increase disease risks in local crops

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WINTERVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Heavy rain is wreaking havoc for some farmers in the East. Some areas have seen around 10 inches of rain in just the last week.

Mike Skinner with Strawberries on 903 said the recent rainfall has essentially killed off any remaining strawberries. Despite that, he said summer crops, like cantaloupe, watermelon, and corn, are still looking good.

Skinner said that could change quickly, however, because increased rainfall can spread disease among crops.

“Some of these mildews, and various things that you get in squash and cucumbers and that kind of stuff, if you’re not on top of it, 4 or 5 days it could really spread to your whole crop and devastate a crop,” Skinner said.

If that were to happen, Skinner said profits could be significantly cut. He said when it rains consistently, it also makes getting out in the fields to reduce the risk of disease harder.

Despite the wet weather, Skinner said some summer produce, like cantaloupes, should be ready in the next few weeks.

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