South Georgia crops in need of rain - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

South Georgia crops in need of rain

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)

A forecast of several afternoon showers comes as welcomed news for local farmers.

Hot, dry days have some crops in need of rain as they reach critical stages.

Look around this field or others in Screven County and you'll see a few spots of wet dirt. That rain softened the drought, but it certainly didn't break it.

The sun and heat bore down on cotton plants like they've done for the past several weeks. The rain Monday night did little to erase the dry conditions and farmer's need to irrigate struggling cotton, soybeans and peanuts.

“Most of the boys didn't even turn off the pivots because they knew that wasn't going to be enough moisture to replenish what they need,” said UGA Extension Agent Ray Hicks.

The blooms on these cotton plants mean they're ready to start bolls. Peanuts and soybeans also need less heat and more rain in this crunch time.

“The crops have been stressed for the past two to three weeks with those daily triple-digit temperatures,” said Hicks.

He says one giant rain won't do the job either.

“Often when we finally get those heavy downpours, so much of it just goes down the ditches and doesn't soak into the soil,” said Hicks.

Three inches of rain wouldn't mean nearly as much as a half dozen, half-inch rains through the rest of the dog days of summer.

Hicks says they need a string of light to moderate rains over the next few weeks for these crops, but also some cloud cover to block that sun from causing it all to evaporate before it does any good.

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