Record rains throughout state hindering crop growth - - Columbia, South Carolina |

Record rains throughout state hindering crop growth

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Rain and cooler than average temperatures have some area farmers worried about crop loss.

"A lot of these guys will see the bottoms of these ears start to rot and sprout," Orangeburg County corn, cotton, and peanut farmer Jeffery Kaigler said.  

Cotton farmers say the growth of their cotton has also been stunted due to this summer's cooler temperatures.

"The cotton should be twice this size," Kaigler said pointing to his crop.

Kaigler said with so much water around, plants never developed larger roots to find nutrients and as a result, they didn't pick up as much fertilizer.

Kaigler said he thinks he'll make it through with an average year with the crops he's harvested.

Farther south, some farmlands have turned into swamps.

"South Carolina's annual rainfall is 46 to 47 inches," South Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Hugh Weathers said. "Parts of the state have already received that or more. It's just a very unusual year." 

Parts of the state were declared federal disaster zones earlier this year to allow farmers access to federal and short-term loans as a result of crop loss.

Kaigler says more rain over the next few weeks could put a serious dent in his peanut and cotton harvesting.    

"I've never seen this. Not in my life," Kaigler said.  

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