Farmers grateful for rainfall

Farmers grateful for rainfall

BULLOCH COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - Rain over the past week may have messed up your outdoor plans, but you won’t hear farmers complaining.

They were desperate for rain for crops they’d just planted. They may still see some affects from the hot, dry May, but they at least still have a crop to raise and see what they get. Less than two weeks ago, they weren’t sure they’d have that.

Lee Cromley and his crew will mow grass while they wait to get tractors back in the fields. Hot temperatures and lack of rain in May left fields parched and small plants struggling to get out of the ground and grow.

“100-degree temperatures were just sapping the moisture out of the soil. It was as dry as I’ve seen it in a long time,” Cromley said.

So far this month, Bulloch County farmers have seen more rainy days than not. It’s energized corn fields to strengthen stalks and begin putting on ears. Lee says rain helps plants more than anything from his pivots.

“There’s nothing to match rainfall. I can’t explain it. Irrigated water is just not the same as rainwater,” he said.

The eight inches of rain has also recharged ponds and reservoirs they’d pumped low for irrigation. He’s glad the rain clouds have hung around and given shade to plants that had been suffering.

“It’s like you, standing out there in the hot sun,” Cromley said. “To a certain extent, the cloud cover will help the crop recover from all the stress it’s been under.”

Cromley says they’ll need to spray some of the fields as soon as they dry enough for tractors to run, but he’s not complaining one bit while he waits.

We see more rain predicted for Tuesday night, Wednesday, and early next week. Farmers hope to see those keep popping up in the forecast.

Lee says the soil in our region drains so quickly, we could be right back in a drought as quickly as 10 days from the last rain.

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