BULLOCH CO., GA (WTOC) - Farmers hit the fields Monday morning to spread lime and other nutrients to get the ground ready for the year and to take advantage of rain in the forecast.
"It's about that time, so we could use a good shower to soften things up and get that subsoil moisture met," said farmer, David Cromley.
Cromley says the rain will help reclaim what's already been lost to some unseasonable weather this month.
"We've had some 80 degree days early on, and that just drained it," he said.
He says they need more moisture in the ground for seeds to take root and grow before hot, dry weather stops them and takes hold.
"A good number of the seed that we plant are oil-based, and when they dry out, you'll run into a stand problem," said Bill Tyson, UGA Extension Agent.
The season could not be more crucial. David and others are waiting to see what kind of farm bill that Congress passes to dictate their business for the next several years.
"From a financial standpoint and the wellbeing of agriculture, we need to have a good year," Tyson said.
But, that year can't start well if they don't have some rain.
"A slow soaker, the soil will be able to handle more over time. We're not hoping for too much; just enough," Cromley said.
"Once we get that crop in the ground, it's hard to play catchup during the season. We'd like to start with good moisture. As we've always said, where we're located, we're never more than two weeks from a drought," said Tyson said.
The timing of this rain helps too because we're already slightly behind on our annual rainfall amounts. We've only seen an inch-and-a-half of rain this month, and only five inches this year, so far. That's below average and below what farmers need this time of year.