Georgia Farmers Cope With Excessive Rains

By: Jessica Leicht Email
By: Jessica Leicht Email

This time last year, farmers prayed for rain.

Now all they want are blue skies.

After severe drought plagued the Southeast the last few years, it seems the rain hasn't stopped in 2013.

Farmers and agriculture experts say this is the wettest summer they've seen in a very long time.

We've all seen plenty of rain lately, but area farmers have seen far too much, more than they can bear and definitely not what they're used to.

"It’s not common at all and talking to some of the old timers, they don't ever remember it. Some of them talk about some time in the 30's maybe," Early County Extension Agent Brian Cresswell said.

"It's just been hurting any way you can imagine. Just because of the weather conditions we've been through," Farmer Mike Newberry said.

The rainfall totals in Early County have averaged more than six feet since January first with 104 days seeing rain.

"It's not really doing us a big favor. With corn crops ready to be harvested this rain is keeping us out of the field plus it's bringing on diseases and keeping us from getting the corn and if it continues to rain some of this corn may become unmarketable," Cresswell said.

And for cotton crops, it's impacting how much they are growing.

"Normally this cotton would be about this high. This is in an area of the field that is generally fairly growthy. But as you see, this cotton is not even to my waist and this cotton won't get a whole lot taller than it is today," Newberry said.

While planters could lose money from less yield, there's one thing they'll save on.

"We certainly will not have spent the normal amount of money do on irrigation. We normally would've watered this cotton probably most years about now, we would've put ten inches of water on it. This system has never been run," Newberry said.

Newberry says you would need a crystal ball to know what comes next.

"Crops in this condition, we're struggling now figuring out what to do with them. I've kind of decided we're going to have to have short sleeves on at thanksgiving for these crops to come out, because there just hasn't been enough heat, enough sunshine. It's going to be a late, late fall," Newberry said.

If they don't get a late fall, it may not be a Merry Christmas for area farmers.

Mr. Newberry says it's rained all but 15 days since July first and more than 40 inches in the last month and a half.

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