Produce growers battling wet weather

Melissa Crabtree/CBS42

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WALKER COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — Walker County Farmers Market was open for business on Tuesday despite the rain, and everyone’s gearing up for this weekend’s annual Tomato Sandwich Day as well.

Meanwhile, growers say Monday harvesting was difficult.

Most were forced to wade in mud up to their knees to get vegetables like okra out of the ground in order to bring it to market.

Donna Dodd says “Mud and water combined cause that’s what you have to do. I  was a really bad day but everyday is a good day. But some days are tougher to get your produce in.”

Customers say they prefer buying produce from the farmers market because it’s fresher and slightly cheaper than the grocery store.

Growers say the rain isn’t hurting corn so far, unless the crops get completely flooded out.

They say corn tolerates wet conditions very well. Squash and okra are the hardest hit this year.

Consumers may see a 1/3 to 1/2 increase in prices at the grocery store, however, Danny Cain with the Walker County Extension Office says it’s too early to say.

He says it is pure speculation at this point how the wet weather will affect consumers at the checkout counter.

However, it does pose disease problems for plants, which will cut yields in half.

Cain says lack of sunlight will impact the taste and sweetness of fruits like watermelon and cantaloupe.

He says row crops should be fine if the area can get back on track with some dry weather, sunshine.

Reminder: Satuday 7am Walker County Farmers Market. The annual Tomato Sandwich Day. Free tomato sandwich’s for everybody!

Copyright 2013 WIAT-TV CBS 42

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