Rain Has Been Pest to Homeowners & Blessing for Farmers

Appomattox Co., VA - The recent rain has been a double edged sword: It's helping some farmers while hurting some homeowners.

The rain has made for perfect hay cutting conditions for farmers. But it's those with smaller yards to cut that are running into trouble.

"On a newer, younger lawn it can kill out the yard, almost overnight," said Nelson Garner from Gary's Garden Center.

It's a fungus often referred to as "brown patch." Garner has seen the damage it can do.

"It can start as a small brown patch about the size of a dinner plate and it can expand to bigger than a tractor trailer in less than 24 hours," said Garner.

The cause is too much rain all at one time - and it's not easy to stop.

"And if you go in there raking or pulling it up and the dust blows in the wind that's the fungus spreading," said Garner.

The newly seeded lawns have a hard time fighting it off.

"You walk through it in your lawn and then you walk into your neighbors lawn, you'll carry it into your neighbors lawn," said Garner.

For those with larger, more mature lawns it's a whole different story.

"It's a right good size yard, like a golf course," said Steve Goin, farmer in Appomattox County.

Steve Goin has roughly 75 acres of hay to cut.

"Since the rain has come, it has grown considerably," said Goin.

A few weeks ago, the grass looked short but now, "for myself, it's almost doubled my hay production. Very helpful, and it has been for most people in saving their hay," said Goin.

If you spot a brown patch in your yard, Garner suggests applying a fungicide to stop it early.

Steve Goin is ABC 13's reporter Sally Delta's dad. He gave Sally the idea to do this story.

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