Scientists caution Georgia drought could repeat

Conditions are causing farmers to adjust (Source:WALB)
Conditions are causing farmers to adjust (Source:WALB)
Updated: Nov. 11, 2016 at 10:35 PM EST
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Scientists are finding it difficult to analyze soil (Source:WALB)
Scientists are finding it difficult to analyze soil (Source:WALB)
Glen Harris, Soil Scientist (Source:WALB)
Glen Harris, Soil Scientist (Source:WALB)

TIFTON, GA (WALB) - South Georgia farmers are hoping for rain as the drought gets worse. Without moisture soon, they could feel the effects for another year.

Scientists are now discussing how the drought could impact upcoming growing seasons.

"I can't get the probe in the ground and then it falls out," Glen Harris, a University of Georgia soil scientist, said.

To many, it's just dirt, but soil scientist Harris has been looking at its moisture content very closely.

"In drought periods, we can irrigate, but it's hard to irrigate as good as mother nature does," Harris said.

Without a decent rain in months, it doesn't take a scientist to see that the earth is dry, but a closer look to inspect the quality of the soil, for example its pH level, is in jeopardy. Scientists are struggling to get good soil samples due to the hardness of the ground.

"We'll get through it no matter what," Harris said. "Farmers are great at adjusting. It's just going to condense some things."

Harris said most fall harvests are over, but those adjustments might need to be made for late crops or winter grazing.

Some UGA Climatologists say that, if soil moisture doesn't recover with the help of mother nature by April, the state could state could get stuck with drought conditions again next year.

Harris said we need at least two or three inches of rain to get soil moisture levels back to a healthy level.

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