Abnormally dry conditions in central NC impacting crops, sunflowers at Dix Park

Elaina Athans Image
Monday, July 8, 2024
NC abnormally dry conditions impacting crops, Dix Sunflower Field
The lack of rain in the Triangle has led to abnormally dry conditions impacting farmers across the area. Dry weather is also blamed for shorter sunflowers at Dix Park.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Sunflower Field at Dix Park will look different this year to the thousands of people to stop by.

The flowers are much shorter than in years past, thanks to the lack of rain.

The recent drought has severely impacted sunflower production -- and other crops as well.

Jesse Petit grows several fruits and vegetables at his 30-acre farm in Benson.

"I've been in it probably 12, 13, 14 years and I've never seen this dry," said Petit.

He says corn, cantaloupe and watermelon have been impacted the most by the drought.

The Triangle did some rain this past weekend, but much of the state still abnormally dry.

"We've got a lot of very small ears (of corn)," said Petit. "You can't sell it. People want perfect."

He has been buying for drip line piping to provide extra water. Petit estimates he has spent $3,000-$4,000 extra in that water to save what he could,

"It gets discouraging at some times, but you just have to keep having faith and that it's going to come together," said Petit. "We'll just keep pushing."