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MOUNT ZION — As crops dwindle in the midst of one of the worst droughts in the past century, farmers plan to ease their anxiety with prayer Tuesday.

Farmers feeling the drought’s sting, along with any concerned community members, are invited to attend a nondenominational prayer meeting for rain at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Mount Zion Lions Club Center, 1595 W. Main St.

“With the problems with crops, we have a desperate need for rain, and we’re in a heck of a mess with the lack of soil moisture,” said Stu Ellis, agricultural communicator and organizer of the meeting. “A lot of folks are going to have various degrees of financial pain from the crop, and this will give them the spiritual support they need.”

Retired farmer Bob Evans of Macon said he has not seen a drought as extreme as this in his 48 years of farming, and farmers are facing an excessive amount of stress, emotional and financial. Evans plans on attending the prayer meeting to exercise his faith and trust in God.

“I think farmers are more trusting in God than most people, because their entire livelihood totally depends on the Lord and rain,” he said. “We’re expecting only about half of the corn and soybean crop this year, and it affects income and the future of farmers.”

Ellis also expressed concern for what the future will bring for farmers.

“Farmers might dedicate $500 to $600 per acre to put crop in the ground and get back maybe half or one-third of that cost, which puts a lot of extra burden on them for next year,” Ellis said. “A lot of farmers will have the equity to meet that challenge, but others will not.”

Ellis said the issue is one that everyone should be concerned about, not just farmers.

“Humanity needs water in the rivers and the lakes to survive, so there’s that commonality we all share whether you are a farmer or a city resident who is looking at a brown lawn,” he said.

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