Farming and dry weather - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Farming and dry weather

Irrigation Irrigation
Dry weather farming Dry weather farming
Calvin Perry Calvin Perry
Casey Cox Casey Cox

Right now this is the third driest May on record.  And with Southwest Georgia being one of the most agriculturally robust regions in the state. Dry weather could have an adverse affect on our crop season. Without rain our farmers are having to use more water.Calvin Perry says, "Certainly our corn growers are but many of our cotton and peanut farmers are having to irrigate crops as they're planting."

The University of Georgia Research Park is comparing conservation tillage that leaves mulch on the surface to traditional tilling. And they are constantly testing new ideas and technologies to conserve water such as this moisture sensor.Calvin says, "How much the plant is extracting how much is needed when he needs to irrigate and when he needs to turn off irrigation."

Casey Cox is a 6th generation farmer and Executive Director of the Flint River Soil and Water Conservation District, she says they deal with too little or too much rain all the time. “It's never distributed the way that the crop needs thats why irrigation is so critical.” “Certainly when times start getting dry there is concern that there's not rainfall but we're always grateful when we do receive it”

What and when farmers plant is also critical Calvin Perry says, "Because we are in the prime planting season for cotton and peanut if you're growing dry land corn you're probably in trouble right now."

Farmers rely on the showers that usually come out of the Gulf of Mexico.Perry says “So we're hopeful we'll get in a pattern of receiving those every few days if not we're really gonna be depending on irrigation to get our crops produced.

Cox says our farmers down here are stewards of the land and always want to use their natural resources wiselyShe says "because many producers here are several generations families and they want these resources around for their children and grandchildren."

Rain is not the only issue facing farmers.The EPD has suspended any new permits so farmers are looking at more expensive wells to get to deeper aquifer systems.

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