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Weather has small impact on Grainger County tomatoes | News

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Weather has small impact on Grainger County tomatoes


One of the largest free festivals in the state of Tennessee is just days away. Most are wondering how this year's crop will turn out for the Grainger County Tomato Festival.

Anthony Carver with the UT Extension helps out with the Grainger County Tomato Festival each year.

"We got all kinds of things planned. Basically it's a three day festival. It's one of the largest free festivals in Tennessee," said Carver.

He said this year's inconsistent weather has been rough on the tomatoes at times.

Drier weather helped the tomatoes grow larger.

"After the clouds parted and we started getting some more sunshine, we started growing some really great Grainger County tomatoes," said Carver.

But recent rainy weeks have put a slight damper on the crop. Farmers say they're now dealing with water-borne diseases.

"We got early blight, late blight, it kills your vines, and slows down your tomatoes. And it really draws a big concern," said farmer Shane Pierce.

There is only so much they can do to stop it.

"We usually just spray the whole field with chemicals to try and back it off or end it once and for all, and trying to make the plant look prettier," said farmer Zack Pierce.

While they struggle with the rain, farmers say they're not falling behind.They are still seeing normal numbers for yields and are producing that product the county is known for -- Grainger County tomatoes.

The festival begins this Friday.

And throughout the weekend, 10,000 people are expected to roll through Grainger County for the festival.


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