Recent Heavy Rainfall May Affect Local Crops

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By: Kara Duffy
July 17, 2013

Thomasville, GA - According to the Georgia Farm Bureau, agriculture contributes 71.1 billion dollars to the Georgia economy each year; and for the one in seven Georgians working in the Agriculture industry, rain plays a big role in how much they're able to cash in on.

"When it gets to the point where you're getting a lot of rain, in a short period of time; that's when we start saying, 'You know, we might like it to hold off a little so we can get out in the field and get some things done," said Andrew Sawyer, the Thomas County UGA Agriculture Extension Agent.

That includes farmers spraying for crop borne diseases. Experts say its a process that's especially important given the above average amounts of rainfall and humidity in Southwest Georgia over the past few weeks.

"We have normal corn rust, leaf blight and southern corn leaf blight and the biggest, probably most significant disease, which all of those can be, is southern corn rust," Sawyer added.

That type of rust can actually rot the plant. As for peanuts, heavy rain is a good thing according to experts.

"Last year was the best yielding year the state has seen in peanuts and Georgia averaged 4,050 pounds an acre and this was due to almost perfect growing conditions," Sawyer said. "The temperatures, maximum to minimum temperatures, from May to September were exactly what the peanut crop likes and it was also due to a lot of rain."

Experts say as of now, there have not been any major outbreaks of crop borne diseases found in area farms.

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