Farmers fret over drought - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Farmers fret over drought

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April 5, 2007

Thomasville--  Bobby Taylor has been farming this land for the last seventeen years.  This may be the driest he's ever seen.  "Its kind of a new experience for me," said Taylor.

The fields sit waiting for cotton and peanuts to be planted.  Everything is ready except for one thing.  "We still have time if we get some moisture. But if we have a dry April and it goes on into May, its gonna start getting critical then," Taylor said.

He says says timing is crucial when it comes to planting.  If farmers plant too soon and still don't see rain for several weeks, plants that have already begun to grow could dry out and die

"We could get rain and plant, but if we don't have good subsoil moisture, and then we don't get rain for two or three weeks down the road, crops can actually die," Taylor said.

That's already beginning to happen in some of the corn fields.  "The dry land corn is. . . everybody has pretty much just stopped planting and just waiting to try to get that in," Taylor said.

Another week of no rain, and it will be too late for corn this year.  Many area farmers had planned to increase their corn crop this year because of its profitability. Those fields may now have to be replaced with cotton.

Until it rains, farmers don't have many options.  "It's just waiting, just mostly waiting for things to look better for us," said Taylor.

Even watering the fields with irrigation systems is difficult because of the high cost of fuel. Having to irrigate right off the bat would be a blow, but farmers say that may be what it comes down to.

At this point a quick thunderstorm won't help.  The farmers really need a good, slow soaking rain of one to one and a half inches to really make a difference.

 

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