Nature has been fickle lately - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Nature has been fickle lately

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By Jay Polk - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Maybe you're ready for a break from the persistent rains that we've seen lately.  But what about farmers who depend on the right amount of rainfall to make a living?

As any South Georgian knows, the weather can be a fickle mistress. So far the last three months have featured wet weather:

"We saw some minor flooding in this region back in early April," according to Woody Hicks from the Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center.

Dry and hot weather:

"We've only seen measurable rainfall, beneficial rainfall, during Memorial Day Weekend," said Hicks.

Then over the past few days; wet weather again:

"Over towards the Alabama line, some places in Early and Calhoun Counties got quite a bit of rain. We saw as much as eight inches in places," Hicks said.

For farmers, nature has really thrown them some curveballs during the early part of the growing season.

Rad Yager, the Dougherty County agent for the University of Georgia Extension said, "this dry June, right behind one of the wettest Springs that we've had on record, was a little unusual."

But while the dry weather in June would seem to be a bad thing, for those who live off of the land, the break from the rain was welcome.

"The farmers get a lot of work done in that time frame, getting their planting finished up and working on their weed control," Yager said.

Farmers are always looking to fill rain gauges like this one around the Fourth of July, and 2009 didn't disappoint.

"In the area, we got anywhere from about 2.5 to about four inches," said Hicks.

And the forecast for the next few months is for the rains to continue.

"(In) July we start getting enough moisture in the atmosphere that we get these pop-up thunderstorms in the afternoon," said Hicks.

For the farmer, a little rain is always welcome. But, no matter what nature throws at the people most dependent on the forecast they'll be ready.

"Farmers are extremely versatile and they know how to deal with what kind of rainfall we get," Yager said.

Like they've been doing for many generations.

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