This week's strong storms dumped some much-needed rain on several farms and neighborhoods in East Tennessee.
Unfortunately, the rainfall has been so sporadic that some neighboring farms have failed to receive a single drop of drought relief.
"I'm sure we got over an inch because it rained real hard for most of an hour and a half Tuesday night. My yard was really dead looking and brown but it has recovered just overnight," said longtime farmer Lafayette Williams outside his home in Farragut.
Just a couple of miles away, the grass is not greener on the other side of the waterway in Concord. That is where Williams sees his Riverview Family Farm remain bone-dry and burning up in drought conditions.
"After the rain Tuesday I called my farm man and asked how much rain we got. He said he was sitting on the back porch and it was still plum dry," said Williams. "You come over here [to the farm] and look at the rain gauge and there's nothing in it. That is so frustrating it'll nearly run you crazy. You can't understand this and you can't do a thing about it. This old brown grass just crunches under your feet."
Williams said he is fortunate compared to many farmers due to an existing stockpile of hay for his cattle. Several other farmers hit by drought in the area have already contacted him for help feeding their animals while they wait for a soaking rain.
Neal Denton with UT Ag Extension said there is nothing unusual about the isolated nature of this week's storms. This year the scattered rain can make or break a crop due to an extremely dry May and June.
"July is always feast or famine and rain comes in big storms over relatively small areas," said Denton. "The problem is generally we have not been this dry up to this point. This year our soil moisture is such that we need the rain we usually get in May and June to come down and it's not happening."
Denton said the drought is especially taking a toll on cornerstone crops such as corn and soybeans.
"We can expect a 20 to 30 percent increase in things made from corn and soybeans. That not only includes the actual products made from corn and soybeans, but we'll also see increases in the price of beef and poultry that depend on those crops for their feed."
Denton said it will likely take four inches of widespread soaking rain in the near future to prevent major losses to this year's crops.
Williams said he will take any rain Mother Nature throws our way as drought progressively damages his business and his morale.
"There is nothing more depressing than a drought for a farmer. It's so depressing to work hard and look out to see what we have. I just hope today and tomorrow we'll get some showers to hit here," said Williams.