Researchers are planting about a hundred sensors on 10 farms in southwest Georgia this month to measure soil moisture. The idea is to better track how much water crops really need and help farmers irrigate more efficiently, and help the farms reduce their impact on the strained Flint River.
A federal agency's report blasts state-level inspections of large farms in Georgia, saying insufficient oversight of how those farms dispose of manure pose a risk to nearby waterways. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Sunday that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Inspector General found a "significant risk" that Georgia's program for regulating its largest livestock producers "is failing to protect water quality."
An agriculture industry group estimates a shortage of migrant labor may wind up costing Georgia fruit and vegetable farmers $300 million in crop losses. Officials worry the total economic impact will be even greater if crops from the next harvest are lost.