Cotton farmers hustle to beat the rain - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Cotton farmers hustle to beat the rain

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It's all about the timing. Farmers, who often pray for rain, were not too happy to see rain clouds Tuesday.

The cotton harvest is in full swing and farmers who are depending on a good cotton crop this year need dry conditions to pick it.

South Georgia farmers were in their cotton fields late last night and early this morning trying to beat the rain. It does not take much more than a drizzle to give farmers a cotton picking problem.

Clouds and rain brought farmers to their cotton fields to harvest as much as they could Wednesday. The rain can be quite the annoyance for farmers.

"You have to get the modules tarped," said farmer Ben Grimsley. "You don't want to get the cotton too wet. You can't really pick once the seed stops cracking and lint gets wet. You have to stop and pretty much get everything covered up. So, it just delays everything."

The rain may not be too bad yet. But, farmers still try to stay ahead

What South Georgia farmers want to see is cotton that is already out of the field because with  rain coming down, and more behind it, they're going to get less of a yield of cotton still in the field right now.

Farmers are not in panic mode yet because they still have time to harvest their crop.

"It's still early enough in the year," said Grimsley. "If it was the first week of December and we were dealing with this, it's be different. Right now, it's early enough, the cotton has only defoliated about three weeks."

But that does not mean that farmers are happy to see the rain. In fact, they are ready for some sunshine.

"We hate to say we don't want rain," said Grimsley. "But, it would suit me for it to not rain until the end of November right now so we can get everything out."

So for now, they will keep one eye on the sky and the other on a radar.

 

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