December proved to be one of the wettest months on record in Sampson County, as well as for much of the state and nation.
The heavy amounts of rain that have fallen on the fields across the county over the last few months have left many farmers in a difficult situation when getting many of the fall crops from the field and now looking at preparing the fields for the spring harvest.
According to Rodney Mozingo, superintendent for the N.C. State Research Station on N.C. 403, the last four months of 2015 had the highest total rainfall, with approximately six inches of rain falling each month. Throughout that four month span, from September to December, a total of 25.5 inches of rain fell, according to measurements at the station. The last four months of the year a heavy time for farmers who have fall crops.
“We’ve really had too much rain,” Mozingo said during an interview earlier this week. “It has really poured rain many times.”
Farmers have been working on their fields, trying to get crops harvested. However, Mozingo said the enormous amounts of rainfall have posed a challenge to many of the farmers.
“It has really been a challenge to get the crops out of the field,” Mozingo said. “At the research station, we had to leave sweet potatoes in the field and not harvest them.”
The total amount of rain that fell in the last quarter of 2015 is more than double that of the year before. According to Mozingo, not even 10 inches of rain fell in the same four-month period in 2014 and approximately 10 inches fell for the same time in 2013.
“On average, Sampson County gets approximately 48 inches of rain in one year,” Mozingo said. “In all, for 2015, there was 61.5 inches of rain that fell over Sampson County. That’s a lot of rain.”
The excessive rainfall causes problems for farmers when preparing the fields for the spring crops. According to Mozingo, many of the farmers are trying to get into their fields and prepare the field for planting for the spring. The rain soaked grounds are hindering farmers from making adequate progress.
In the last days of the 2015, much of the Eastern region of North Carolina experienced heavy amounts of rainfall, resulting in flood watches and warnings being issued by the National Weather Service.
And the rainfall isn’t over.
Local weather officials are calling for a chance for the region to see more rain over the next few days. While temperatures were expected to rise over the weekend, rain was expected to fall. The are should get a reprise over the first of next week, with lower temperatures, but sunny skies expected. Rain returns to the forecast next weekend.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.