Blueberry season is a washout for most Southeast Georgia growers. Heavy rains over the past several weeks have ruined much of the berries now in the fields, which have been too muddy to harvest, University of Georgia Agriculture Extension Service agents said.
Last year, Georgia peach orchards were parched. But this year, the owner of Lane Southern Orchards in Fort Valley, grower of one of the largest peach crops in the nation, has the opposite problem.
Saturated soils are also stalling plant growth, especially in smaller, later-planted peanuts. Wet fields are delaying fungicide and herbicide applications.
The rains also have taken a heavy toll on tobacco. “It’s too late to replant tobacco,” said James Jacobs, county agent for Pierce and Ware counties in Georgia.
Rains continue to dump misery on farmers across much of the growing area of the Southeast. Rain totals in certain areas are similar to amounts from a hurricane.
After a summer of nonstop downpours, some farmers are losing a full one third of their yield.
Across the Southeast, the ground is too soaked to cut wheat and the cotton crops are drowning, growers say.
In Georgia, rainfall totals are 34 percent higher than normal, and in North and South Carolina they are up 25 percent, and Alabama is 22 percent above normal precipitation. And the outlook doesn’t look any drier.
The excessive rain in the Southeast means billions of dollars of damaged crops, according to some estimates. Add drought in the West, and that could mean higher prices at the grocery store for staples such as melons, tomatoes and cucumbers.
The excessive rain in the Southeast means billions of dollars of damaged crops, according to some estimates. Add a drought in the West, and that could mean higher prices at the grocery store for staples such melons, tomatoes and cucumbers.
“The forecast for the Southeast is for a continued, above average wet pattern going in through the fall,” said Greg Forbes, a severe weather expert at The Weather Channel .
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