A handful of area farmers were blessed with crop-saving rainfall Wednesday evening, but for the most part, the Southeast region remains parched.
Screven County farmer Clint Finch said he was “wide open” Thursday, glad for rain the night before, racing against planting deadlines and rapidly drying soil to get his cotton crop planted.
Temperatures above 100 degrees for about a week, with a hot, dry breeze toasting the land, have left farmers in a quandary, said Bulloch County Agent Bill Tyson.
Some areas of northern Bulloch County and Screven County saw rainfall Wednesday evening. Over an inch of rain was recorded in the Baygall community, and Finch said seven tenths of an inch fell in Rocky Ford.
The rest of the area, however, remains dry. Corn that is not irrigated is baking in the fields, and many farmers are anxious because some cotton has not yet been planted. A crop insurance deadline looms in just a few days, Tyson said.
“It is very dry. Dryland corn has taken a hit.”
Other crops are suffering as well. High soil temperatures interfere with seed germination. “If we don’t get some rain pretty quick, it will be detrimental,” he said.
Register area farmer Lehman Brannen said the effect of the arid conditions are “pretty bad.”
His sons’ corn crop “is kind of roasted, with the wind blowing hot dry air,” but his peanuts and cotton look good so far, he said. But unless rain falls soon, within a few days the corn crop will be “done.”
Tyson said the majority of the Bulloch and surrounding areas are in critical condition and need rain soon.
But for some, “the rain is a blessing from God,” Finch said. “Hopefully we will get some more pop-up showers.”
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at 912-489-9414.