Local farmers feel heat from drought - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Local farmers feel heat from drought

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Local farmers say the dry conditions are making it hard for them to grow their crops and feed their livestock. Local farmers say the dry conditions are making it hard for them to grow their crops and feed their livestock.
ATLANTA -

Officials warn that the widest drought to grip the U.S. in decades is getting worse and shows no signs of getting better. Local farmers say the dry conditions are making it hard for them to grow their crops and feed their livestock which, in turn, will cost you more at the grocery store.

Farmer Larry Grier said that the lack of rain has impacted everything. His watermelons are half the size as usual and his pea crop didn't produce as much either, raising the price for customers like Ruth Bettis.

"I went to the grocery store today and I could tell that they have gone up," said Bettis.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says we'll really feel the biggest impact from the drought a year from now, though local farmers say it's already started.

Last year, a basket of peaches was $7. This year it's $10. And Georgia farmers expect prices could rise another 20 to 30 percent.

"Since I'm retired and don't work anymore, it does affect me. Everything going up affects me now," said Bettis.

Farmer James Combs says it's not just about supply and demand. When there's not enough rain, he has to run an irrigation system from 8 a.m. until midnight.

"We spend about $400 worth of diesel in one week," said Combs. "We can't get enough water on our crops."

While it seems like it's rained a lot recently, farmers -- especially in south Georgia -- say the dry winter really hurt them.

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