Watermelon crop affected by Wednesday's storm - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Watermelon crop affected by Wednesday's storm

Heavy rainfall flooded a Crisp County watermelon field. (Source: WALB) Heavy rainfall flooded a Crisp County watermelon field. (Source: WALB)
Not all of the plant was affected. (Source: WALB) Not all of the plant was affected. (Source: WALB)
Hal McCay is a watermelon farmer. (Source: WALB) Hal McCay is a watermelon farmer. (Source: WALB)
This is how the plastic should look. (Source: WALB) This is how the plastic should look. (Source: WALB)
This is how some rows looked. (Source: WALB) This is how some rows looked. (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Farmers are out replanting tonight, less than 24 hours after a storm pulled their crop out of the ground.

Wednesday's storm systems did not bring nearly as much damage to South Georgia as they had the potential to.

Still, some are suffering. The weather caused some farmers setbacks.

"They had us scared to death," said watermelon farmer Hal McCay about the warnings from meteorologist and the National Weather Service early this week. 

McCay said yesterday’s weather predictions had him wondering if he’d ever grow watermelons this season.

The freeze just a few weeks ago, destroyed all of his watermelon crop and he had to replant.

"That was about 40 to 50 grand," said McCay. "It’s going to be hard to recover."

On Wednesday, all he could do was hope mother nature was kind to his field.

"We had some leftover plants and were scared to even sell them because we didn’t know what the storm was going to do," said McCay.

While the storm didn’t tear through all his fields, it dropped two and a half inches of rain.

"As fast as that comes, it’s got to have somewhere to go. It’s not soaking in the ground so it’s running out onto the field," said McCay.

It left parts of the fields, flooded and others, with the plastic strips blowing in the wind.

 There was so much water that it flooded the plastic and pulled the watermelon plant right out of the ground.

In order to save this watermelon plant this year, farmers have to get it back into the ground very quickly and get the plastic to stay down for good.

"We should be able to salvage a lot of these plants," said McCay, looking over his field. 

McCay said he has to make sure the watermelon is ready before the fourth of July.

"If you can’t beat the fourth you don’t really want to be trying to grow watermelon," joked McCay.

As long as there is no rain for a while, some manual labor the next few days will hopefully allow for some big watermelons a week into June.

"If we get another 7 to 10 days of weather better than this, the plants will grow and start running off the sides of the plastic and hold it down," said McCay.

"Then if we have another rain, we’ll be fine and not have to go back to this."

There was a lot of wind on Thursday, which wasn't making things easy. In the next few days McCay said all of the rows should be looking much better.

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