Recent rains growing late crops - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Recent rains growing late crops

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July 13, 2007

Mitchell County-- To say that farmers are facing a tough battle this year with mother nature is an understatement, but with some much needed rain in the last couple of weeks most farmers are hoping to salvage a decent crop.

The start of this year's growing season has been anything but easy, putting stress not only on crops, but on farmers as well. Most of the surviving crops this year were either heavily irrigated, or dusted in just in time for some rain.

"A lot of the crops had to be irrigated up and we had to put a lot of extra water in them to get them up, and to get our herbicides activated and then a lot of the dry land crops like this cotton field behind us was actually dusted in and it had to sit there and wait on the rain and so we finally got that rain June second and that is when this cotton came up. A lot of guys are fighting weeds now, and so there has been a lot of challenges with the weather being like it has" said Mitchell County farmer Murray Campbell. 

Not every farmers field has benefited from a generous amount of rain in recent weeks, but in most cases just enough to get the crop up and going. With such a late start this year, Campbell says much of his cotton crop will have to be harvested later than usual.

"This cotton would normally be knee high where we are right here, but as you can see it is only about eight to ten inches, and it is in good shape, but it's late. So we are going to have to have some rain right on through August and some good harvest weather, because it's going to be a late a real late harvest. We are going to be picking a lot of cotton in November this year" said Campbell.

Even with afternoon storms producing a bit of drought relief, a much more consistent rainfall pattern, or even a soaking rain from a tropical system may be needed to really be the catalyst for a generous year end crop yield.

"We pobably need either one big tropical event, where we get three or four inches of rain slow and steady so it does not run off, or either we need to continue to get a couple inches a week. We have had out here at Pebble City about an inch and eight tenths this week and that is tremendous, when we had only a half an inch of rain in ninety days back in April, so were real proud of it and it is helping" said campbell.

     With the current near term forecast looking better for rainfall, we can only hope that mother nature will provide rain for the rest of the year.

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