EDMONDSON, AR (abc24.com) - The hot weather has Arkansas farmers fighting desperately to save their crops. They're entering the busiest season of the year but much of their work could be in vain.
More than 80 percent of Arkansas is in a severe drought. Farmers are feeling the heat as their crops suffer.
Bill Weaver has been farming for more than 50 years. He says it's been decades since conditions were this bad.
“It's got a long ways to go. They're pretty flat, it's going to take a lot of moisture,” Weaver said inspecting a soybean pod.
The weather is so hot and the ground so dry, you would have thought Bill Weaver planted his soybeans in sand.
“Up 'til now, this general area we've been in pretty good shape, but we're losing ground pretty fast,” he said.
Most of Weaver's soybean, cotton and sorghum crops are at risk because of the drought. If there's no rain in the next two weeks, he could lose about 15 percent of his harvest.
“Then later it could become worse than that,” Weaver said.
Last year record floodwaters ruined the planting season, resulting in more than $500 million in losses. Now the lack of water could cost Arkansas farmers a fortune.
While almost all farmers use an irrigation system to water crops during a dry spell, most find it too expensive to cover all their property.
The same can be said for Bill Weaver. He's praying that rain falls on all 3,200 acres of his parched land.
As if the threat to crops isn't enough, wildfires have also become a big concern. Already two national forests in Arkansas banned backcountry camp fires. Conditions are expected to get much worse before they get any better.