Rain leads to healthy corn - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Rain leads to healthy corn

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DAWSON, GA (WALB) -

Corn is among south Georgia's most popular summer produce, and this summer farmers are enjoying a sweet twist with the above average rainfall. 

"The last time we ran any irrigation was June the 17th, Father's Day. So that's been like six-weeks and that is, I have never experienced that before in 32-years of growing sweet corn, that's unbelievable," Mark Daniel, owner of Mark's Melon Patch.

Corn needs to be watered frequently throughout the growing season. But with nearly two inches of rain a week for the past six-weeks, it has allowed Mark to cut back on some expenses. 

"It's been great as far as the time it takes to irrigate. The expenses involved in all the fuel and ware and tare on everything and the labor involved too, it's been awesome," said Mark Daniel.

Heavy rain can often lead to diseases, but so far this year Daniel is pleased with his produce.

"A little bit but not enough to hurt the yield. It's just been less than what I expected, really, and so the overall benefit of the rain has been, you know, surpassed any damage from any foliage disease with the corn," stated Daniel. 

The positive effects of the rain have far exceeded the negative effects.

"Right now I'm not complaining one bit about the rain. We're having to have to work around it you can't get over here and you get started on doing this and than you have to stop and it's aggravating, but it's not nearly as aggravating as having to check irrigation all night long," said Mark Daniel. 

For an ideal season, Mark would like the weather to be a little bit drier in September and October to make the harvest season easier. But at the end of the day he is more than pleased with too much rain rather than not enough.

Daniel is also a little worried about his upcoming pumpkin crop. Wet weather will lead pumpkin plants to mature quickly.

If drier weather doesn't settle in, Daniel says it will be difficult to keep healthy pumpkins in the fields.

This is the first season he's had irrigation systems grounded in his fields.

"We've had a lot of rain that we have been talking about which was actually great for getting the pumpkins to germinate and come on up. We didn't have to irrigate them at all to get the seeds to sprout you know and start growing which is, I can't never remember not having to do that," said Mark Daniel.

The pumpkin plants should start budding within the next three weeks.
   
Mark's Melon Patch will start selling pumpkins after Labor Day.
 

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