PANHANDLE, Fla. (WMBB) — Usually hurricane season spells trouble for the Florida Panhandle for obvious reasons, but this year quiet weather has left the region falling into a severe drought.
Tourists on the coast might enjoy it, but the agriculture industry is taking a hit.
“It impacted us quite a good bit,” the General Manager of Southern Cattle Company Chris Heptinstall said. “We lost our last cutting of hay because of the drought.”
Heptinstall said thankfully – the beginning of the year was not as dry, “We were lucky enough to get a double crop of corn silage, so have at least 50% of our feed for the winter already in the book.”
Throughout the year, Marianna has recorded 47 inches of rainfall, which is about 5 inches below normal.
Heptinstall added that last year’s hay season looked totally different,
“Polar opposites, I mean, we were having a hard time getting in the hay fields last year because it was so wet, getting hay cut and cured, and now [this year] we lost out on the cutting because of drought,” Heptinstall said.
As for solutions to the problem, he said there are none.
“It’s just what the good lord gives you… That’s what agriculture is it’s all always a gamble.”