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Crops in Pender County suffering because of drought conditions

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PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- With the severe drought in southeastern North Carolina, farmers are getting hit pretty hard. Above normal temperatures and rainfall deficits in the area mean bad news for local crops. According to NCDrought.org, 17 coastal counties are currently experiencing a severe drought.

Farmers in Pender county say it's not looking too good for their corn crops. Farmer Bill Murrell says that corm is usually one of the hardest hit crops from the severe drought conditions. He says his corn should be about head high, but because of the drought, it's only about knee high. He says a lack of moisture has left the soil powder dry, leaving nothing for the plants to survive on, and that the first sign of a drought is that the leaves will start wilting and rolling up from stress.

"Hopefully, this hasn't killed this crop. It will come out if we get some rain in time. Luckily, I planted this real late this season, so I'm not as in as bad as shape as some other farmers that planted earlier," he says.

Murrell thinks that the current drought conditions aren't as bad as they were three years ago, but if they continue, it could turn out to be even worse. He hopes to start planting soy beans soon, but because of the dry soil right now, the seeds won't be able to germinate.

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