Drought Conditions Continue Across Southwest Georgia
Wednesday, September 14th, 2011
Extreme drought conditions continue in most of Georgia and we're just now about to enter what's typically the driest time of the year.
Stream flows remain low across south Georgia and record monthly low groundwater levels were reported in the Upper Floridian aquifer in several counties.
Man-made rain in the form of irrigation continues in Lee County, rain showers from a week ago have dried up and as temperatures again climb, it's leaving south Georgia dry.
"That soil moisture is beginning to diminish now. Farmers that planted late or their corps that came up late, basically dry land farmers, they might still like to have some more rain," said Doug Collins, UGA-Extention Agent, Lee County
Along New York Road where peanuts have already been turned in the field the last thing they want now is rain.
"Once peanuts are dug they need some dry weather, to dry so they can be picked," said Collins.
The third hottest summer ever for most of south Georgia wreaked havoc for farmers, who irrigated to the point of drying wells for some, and meant an early crop for others.
"A lot of the peanuts that bloomed earlier we're able to start putting on peanuts because it was too hot until the peanuts developed enough canopy to keep it cool at ground level," said Collins.
The Flint River and ten other rivers and creeks in south Georgia were at dry or near dry levels today. Extension Agents say we'll need a lot of recharge in the aquifer over the winter to make up for dry conditions seen this year, that in some case ruined crops.
"Our dry land corn crop for the most part failed and we didn't get emergence on a lot of our peanuts and cotton because of the dry weather," said Collins.
With a La Nina winter and spring forecast that means below normal rainfall and above normal temperatures it could spell trouble next year.
The dry conditions have also lead to increase wildfire activity across the state. Smoke from the Honey Prairie fire in southeast Georgia could be visibly seen on satellites Tuesday morning.