South Georgia farmers need more rain - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

South Georgia farmers need more rain

CAIRO, GA (WALB) - Even though we've gotten some good rain lately, South Georgia farmers say it's not enough.

It will take a lot more rainfall to help overcome one of the worst droughts in state history. Farmers say while there is not much hope for corn, cotton and peanuts still stand a chance.

Farmers say they are praying for more rain. "If you don't have irrigation it's really hard to make a crop. If you do have irrigation you have to spend a lot of money to pump water and to irrigate your crop," said Pioneer Research Manager Dan Gorman.

Gorman is a farmer and research manager at Pioneer in Grady County where an annual field day was held. "The number one goal for them at this research station is to develop corn hybrids that are drought and heat tolerant," said Agricultural Agent Don Clark.

Farmers say because of the early season drought they've lost the majority of their corn crop. They say if they can learn to make corn more heat and drought tolerant, those losses could be spared.

Some of the farmers prayers have been answered over the last few weeks, but the rain has not been widespread enough. "Probably 25 percent of Grady County has received good showers over the last seven days, but 75 percent of the county is still really dry," said Clark.

They believe because of the recent rain, the turnout was three times less than usual. "25 percent of the county that received good showers, the farmers are out there putting fungicides out for diseases, controlling weeds, and they're out there working in the fields because they have moisture right now," said Clark.

One farmer says no matter what the weather does, he always stays optimistic. He said without hope, there would not be much reason to wake up in the morning.

Farmers are reaching the end of the corn season with the harvest just around the corner. Peanuts and cotton are harvested in early fall.

Copyright 2011 WALB. All rights reserved.

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