Locally Grown Fruits and Vegetables Scarce due to Drought

This summer has been a tough one for our local farmers. The situation is so dire some of them are going to out-of-state farmers to buy fruit and vegetables to then turn around and sell here at local farmer's markets.

We visit two local farms to get a firsthand look at the devastation caused by this year's drought.

First, we visit Houser Farms in Lincoln County.

Imagine your livelihood drying up like corn stalks leaving you thousands of dollars in the hole.

"I've already planted three times on my sweet corn and this is the result of my last planting. The other ones didn't even come up," said Tommy Houser.

Houser says it has rained less than an inch all summer. A far cry from the 4 to 6 inches he needs for a good sweet corn crop.

"We've got about 100 acres of veggies, watermelon, cantaloupe, they all need water and it has affected everything," said Houser.

It's not only the corn in Lincoln County that has suffered from the lack of rain, but also the soybean crop in Mecklenburg County should be twice as tall.

"Usually it's July when it gets hot and turns dry and goes a few months maybe. This has been since the first of May. If it keeps going the way it's going all summer, we're in trouble maybe not just this year, but also next year,” said Keith Westmoreland.

Westmoreland says if he loses his 500 acres of corn and soybean crop, he'll be out more than half his yearly income. A huge hit to his family budget.

"Only thing we can do is really don't buy it unless we absolutely need it, don't spend it unless we absolutely need to. As for updating equipment, that will be put off to some other time," said Westmoreland.

Money doesn't grow on trees…unless you're a farmer. And for many of them, the drought has dried up the fruit of their labor.

Houser and Westmoreland say this summer's drought has been more destructive to their crops than the drought of 2007 into 2008 -- widely considered the worst in our area, in modern times.