LAFAYETTE, Ga. — Sonny Scoggins never envisioned catfish among his crops.
But last month, there they were, 3 feet long, about 7 pounds, wiggling and flopping among budding soybean plants. A heavy storm had finally ceased, and Scoggins and his brother wanted to inspect their crops. They found the pond overflowing, the water spilling through the rows of stalks, forming small, shin-high streams.
“It’s just, you know — it’s just something to see,” said Scoggins, 83.
Temperatures rose. The water evaporated. The catfish retreated. And then another heavy storm hit, and the water spilled out, and the whole thing happened again.
This time last year, Scoggins was praying for rain. With rolling hills and no clear access to a river, the farm doesn’t have an irrigation system. And the hot, dry weather oppressed his summer crop, allowing the family to harvest only 6,000 bushels of soybeans. Typically, they grow 40,000 bushels, selling them to Cargill Corp. for about $10 each. He said it costs about $120 an acre to plant his 650 or so acres.