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Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - 10:16am

Farmers Say It's Too Wet To Plant

Georgia farmers are having trouble planting their crops. In northern Georgia it’s too wet, and in southwest Georgia it’s too dry.

University of Georgia agriculture climatologist Pam Knox says areas north of Atlanta received 5 inches more rain than normal in May. The wet weather is continues this month. She says that’s hard on farmers. “It’s just so wet that it’s hard to get in there without bogging down. And that’s caused some delays in planting and certainly delays in field work. And I think it’s also caused some problems for some of the diseases you get when you have really wet conditions, like fungal diseases.”

But the rain isn’t all bad news. Knox says “All this rain has really caused the forage to grow like crazy. And that’s been good. Of course it makes it a little hard if you’re trying to harvest hay because you don’t get much drying.”

That could help reduce the cost of feeding livestock. Feed prices shot up last year when drought reduced forage crops.

Meanwhile, southwest Georgia cotton and peanut farmers had to delay planting for three weeks, according to Early County extension coordinator Brian Cresswell. He says they are just planting now. “We virtually got no rain in the month of May and that put us way behind .” He says farmers couldn’t plant earlier because seeds wouldn’t germinate. Southwest Georgia did start seeing rain in June.

Cresswell is concerned that an early frost could damage those crops since they won’t be ready to harvest until three weeks late.

Knox says it’s too early to tell what delayed planting may mean to north Georgia farmers.

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