Some South Georgia Growers Impacted By June Rains
By: Devin Knight, WALB-TV
7/2/2013 10:12:13 AM
Excess rain from an unusually wet June is wrecking havoc on crops and increasing costs for South Georgia growers.
Farmers said the last several years have been pretty dry, but this year they're struggling with a little too much of a good thing.
The young peanut crops just outside Ty Ty are in danger of drowning from heavy rains.
That's because South Georgia was hammered by storms in June, where some areas saw over ten inches of precipitation.
"We've had a tough time gettin' this crop off to a start. All these heavy rains has saturated us, so a lot of these spots in the field has actually drowned, and it's just set us behind," said John Dunn, Georgia Farmer.
And peanuts aren't the only crop having a hard time.
Watermelon and cantaloupes in the middle of harvest season are struggling with the wet weather.
"They suck up a lot of water, and they're hard to ship. A lot of crackin' and you have to leave a lot of them in the field. You don't harvest them all when you get a lot of wet weather," said Phillip Grimes, Georgia Farmer.
Grimes said the quality of his produce has suffered from heavy rainfall.
And extra effort in the fields caused by struggles against the weather have made this season more expensive for farmers.
"What we've saved on irrigation, we're fixin' to put it back into fertilization, because these big rains has got our fertilizer. And as soon as we can get back to the field, we've got to back and refertilize these crops to get 'em back goin'," said Dunn.
But growers said they're just trying to work with what mother nature is bringing and keep a positive outlook.
"We'll work through it. We may not have a crop we was all wishin' for, but we'll come out some way or another. The old farmer, he'll stick in there," Dunn said.
Farmers said they hope the rain lets up a little to let the crops dry up, but they may be in for another challenge.
The WALB weather team has forecasted another 2-4 inches of rain this week, but some areas could see double or triple that amount.
Some farmers said they've had a tough time with planting, spraying and cultivation this year, which has set them back a few weeks.
Dunn said he worries extra rain could create problems for peanut farmers during harvest time in the fall when cooler weather could freeze some crops.
Some farmers said they've had to replant crops this year, but that this season's higher costs should not be passed on to the consumer. They also said they'll have a better idea of how much the rain has cost them, a little later in the season
For more information: http://www.walb.com/story/22735475/wet-june-hurts-georgia-crops