Tuesday may have been wet, but the rain that fell over Bulloch County is only a drop in the bucket compared to what is needed to pull the county out of “exceptional drought.”
Bulloch County Agent Wes Harris said farmers will have a hard time planting crops if more rainfall doesn’t come. Weather forecasters say there is a chance of rain Thursday, but Bulloch County — actually most of Georgia — really needs days, or even weeks, of rainy weather.
The National Weather Service says the lower middle region of the state suffers from exceptional drought and is behind almost 30 inches of rainfall.
This week’s splattering of rain “certainly is going to help what small grains we have planted, and is a nice shot in for grazing,” but it’s not enough to make a big difference, Harris said.
The little bit of rain “won’t do much for recharging subsoil moisture” and replenishing dry creeks, streams, rivers and lakes, he said. “We’re still in the La Nina weather pattern, which means warmer, drier weather at least until May.”
Farmers will be hard pressed to get crops planted on time, he said. “We’re right on the edge.”
Dry conditions have Bulloch County “sitting right on the edge of a potential disaster” with both crops and fire hazards, he said.
Bulloch County Public Safety Director Ted Wynn said county firefighters have been battling a number of grass and brush fires recently caused by extremely dry conditions and windy weather.
Crops like onions and carrots are fine because they are irrigated, but other crops may end up seeing a poor year if rains don’t come soon, Harris said.
“We don’t want to complain (about the rainfall),” he said. “We’ll take it when we can, but I’d like to see us get a significant amount of substantial moisture in here. It’s going to take a good bit of moisture to pull us out of the drought.”
Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.