It's been almost a month since many fields in Northeast Mississippi had a good shower. At the same time, temperatures have been up to 10 degrees higher than average, speeding up the evaporation process in the soil.
"The heat has kind of baked it," said Kossuth farmer Brad Mitchell. "It's like planting down a blacktop highway."
Mitchell is a cattle producer and row crop farmer with his family in Alcorn County. Last week, he couldn't plant corn because the ground was too wet.
"It went from too wet to too dry in about a week," Mitchell said.
For the year, the Southern Regional Climate Center says the Corinth area has had 31.64 inches of rain, which is 3.35 inches above average. The excess rain came early in the year.
It's an entirely different story elsewhere in Northeast Mississippi. Portions of the region are classified as abnormally dry, which is the step before an official drought is declared. Nearly 80 percent of the state was classified as abnormally dry or in a drought as of last week. New classifications could arrive today.
Aberdeen's rainfall is down 9.4 inches for the year, according to Luigi Romolo, a regional climatologist.
Tupelo's rainfall is down 5.16 inches. Rainfall, as of Tuesday, also is down in Iuka and Pontotoc.
Booneville has had 29.87 inches, which is the average.
Mitchell Hood is a soybean farmer in the Ozark community of Itawamba County, an area that he said is desperately in need of moisture.
"We're burning up right now," he said. "We need some rain and we need it soon. If not, I'm afraid our yields are going to be damaged."
He's also seeing increased problems from grasshoppers. The grasshoppers - the same as the ones common in yards - will eat the soybean foliage and damage the crop, he said.
"Some farmers are already spraying," he said.
But, spraying for insects adds more costs for growers in a time when other input costs, like fuel and fertilizer, are skyrocketing.
Hood was out spraying weeds Monday and saw up close just how much of an impact the heat is having on his crops.
"By 10 a.m., they were wilting," he said. "They are going to whither away and die. ... Nothing's growing. It's just trying to live, trying to survive."
Mitchell and Andy Anderson, a cattle producer in Okolona, both said they are behind on their hay cuttings because of the lack of rain.
"It's pretty rough," Anderson said. "Grass and hay are not coming back. I don't know if it can come back. We haven't had a good soaking rain since the tornadoes back in April."
Mitchell said he's about 1.5 cuttings behind on his hay. And for his neighbors who are cutting, they are getting half the rolls they usually do.
"We're surrounded by soybeans and corn and they just look terrible," added Anderson.
But the farmers are holding out hope and keeping up to date on the forecast. The region has a chance of rain today and tomorrow.
"If we get a good, general rain, I think you'd see a lot of people smiling," Mitchell said.
Contact Carlie Kollath at (662) 678-1598 or firstname.lastname@example.org.