(WTVM) - by: Annie Hubbell
The summer heat is taking a toll on the southern region and the lack of rain is causing some farmers to slow production.
More than 90 percent of Alabama is in drought, and 33 out of the 67 counties have been declared for drought emergency. However, experts say this has been years in the making.
David Weaver, professor of agronomy at Auburn University, explains.
"Most of the recent publicity dealing with the drought here in Alabama, the counties have been declared disaster areas in all this," says Weaver. "A lot of it goes back for quite some period of time. We didn't get into this over night and we are not going to get out of it over night."
Cattle farmer C.C. Lamb from Russell County has been farming on his land for more than 40 years. However, in the past several years he has had to cut back on his productions almost 50 percent because of the harsh conditions.
"You can't farm and agriculture can't compete without water," says Lamb, "We haven't produced enough hay on this farm in six years to maintain the cattle. We have cut our herd from 300 head to 180 head of cattle, but hay is low grade also, so we have to supplement with extra protein and extra minerals."
So with food and gas prices on the rise, how are scientists trying to fix the problem? New products are being developed to help fight against the dry land.
"You see some products come on the market, some hybrids, some corn hybrids in particular from Monsanto and other groups that reportedly have good resistance to drought," Weaver says. "This is something we are not now just thinking about and trying to work on to solve today, it's something we have been expecting with the climate change and we are working on this problem, been working on this problem."