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Extreme heat a new problem for farmers

STUART — After surviving late spring frosts and a soaking start to summer, weather is again testing Virginia’s farmers as the threat of drought looms over most of the state.

As recently as July 5, the National Agricultural Statistics Service reported some topsoil and subsoil in Virginia showed a moisture surplus. But the NASS crop report for the week ending July 19 indicated the surplus had quickly evaporated.

According to the report, topsoil moisture is short or very short for 72% of the state, and 63% of subsoil moisture is the same. With dry conditions aligning with a prolonged period of extreme heat, some farmers and their crops are beginning to feel the strain.

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