Rains beneficial to lower Southeast corn crop

It varied drastically, but recent rainfall in Alabama might have saved the corn crop in some counties, while other areas got little relief. The same was true for Georgia where scattered rainfall arrived at a critical growth stage for corn which was starting to show stress from drought conditions.

Meanwhile, in Florida, most of the state received at least one inch of rain, with most locations reporting that drought conditions were eliminated or almost quenched.

Here’s a rundown on the overall situation as reported by the various state USDA/NASS field offices for the week ending July 13.


Rainfall was fairly widespread during the past week. However, precipitation totals varied drastically depending on location.

Donald E. Mann, county executive director in the Jackson County FSA office, reported that the area received only light, scattered rainfall, and continued to suffer from severe drought conditions.

John Dorrill, county executive director in the Henry County FSA office, stated that places have been getting afternoon showers.

Larry Forrester, county executive director in the Dale County FSA office, noted that soils have been depleted of moisture that accumulated from previous rains.

Average temperatures varied from 3 degrees below to as many as 6 degrees above normal. Daytime highs ranged from 91 degrees in Union Springs and Highland Home to 98 degrees in Muscle Shoals and Hamilton. Overnight lows varied from 64 degrees in Bridgeport, Opelika, and Union Springs to 71 degrees in Birmingham and Dothan.

All weather stations reported receiving rainfall during the past week. Precipitation totals ranged from 0.16 inches in Hamilton over a two-day period to a whopping 5.19 inches in 3 days in Montgomery.

The amount of moisture received has greatly affected the condition of Alabama’s row crops. Doyle Dutton, county executive director in the Lawrence County FSA office, stated that some areas received spotty rainfall, but the county needed a good, soaking rain. As a result, some of the corn in Lawrence County was suffering due to a lack of available soil moisture.

Donald Mann reported that row crops in Jackson County remained stressed, with corn being in the most critical state.

Jeff Knotts, county executive director in the Pike County FSA office, mentioned that scattered rainfall provided some much needed relief to crops during the past week, and may have saved the county’s corn crop.

Thomas D. Atkinson, county executive director in the Madison County FSA office, indicated that spring and summer seeded crops needed rain, and that the county’s cotton crop was holding up the best.

Shane Seay, county executive director in the Limestone County FSA office, reported that the counties double-cropped soybeans were planted, but the stands were weak or in some places being replanted.

Olin F. Farrior, county Extension coordinator for Escambia County, stated that escaped weeds were a problem in some fields. Glyphosate resistance was suspected in some areas, while other areas had rain that washed the herbicides off the crops.

As with Alabama’s row crops, pasture conditions varied across the state, but overall, showed slight improvement. T. H. Gregg, regional Extension agent located in Etowah County, mentioned that many pastures in the area were dry.

Donald Mann added that Jackson County pastures were in poor to fair condition.

Henry Dorough, regional Extension agent located in Talladega County, noted that some much needed rainfall helped to somewhat improve pasture and hayfield conditions. However, stock ponds and small streams utilized by cattle were drying up.

Kenneth Kelley, regional Extension agent located in Mobile County, noted that recent rains have helped forage production.

Livestock conditions remained virtually unchanged from a week ago, with the majority of animals in good to excellent condition.


Isolated showers, throughout the state, provided some relief to parched crops, according to the USDA, NASS, Georgia Field Office.

Daily average high temperatures fluctuated between the high 80s and low 90s. Average lows were in the high 60s most of week. Soil moisture conditions were rated at 18 percent very short, 34 percent short, 44 percent adequate, and 4 percent surplus.

Scattered showers brought some relief to drought stressed crops. In some areas recent thunderstorms have greatly improved topsoil moisture. These rains came at a critical growth stage for corn which was starting to show stress from drought conditions.

The first cutting of hay, was of limited quantity for some farmers, worse than last year. Farmers have begun monitoring for corn earworms and tobacco budworms, as moths have been seen.

Other activities included irrigating crops as needed and applying weed control to some late planted peanuts and cotton.

County Extension agents reported an average of 5.5 days suitable for fieldwork.


District 1 — Northwest

“We had a good rain on Sunday, July 13.”

“The area received a quarter to a half inch rain on Wednesday, scattered showers Thursday, and hopefully more area wide rains on Friday through Saturday.”

“Recent thunderstorms are greatly improving topsoil moisture. The moisture is coming at a critical growth stage for the corn which was starting to show drought stress.”

District 3 _ Northeast

“Scattered rains early in the week, rains over the weekend were very helpful.”

District 4 — West Central

“Recent rains over the weekend helped out. Corn crop is in the early- to mid-dent stage. Soybean crop looks good in some areas where glyphosate resistant Palmer amaranth does not take over. Peanuts are receiving first soil borne fungicide sprays.”

“Widespread beneficial rainfall.”

“Rain over most of the county last week has conditions improving. Soil moisture is beginning to accumulate and hold. Slight recharge in ponds is evident. First good cutting of bermudagrass hay expected to begin this week.”

District 5 — Central

“Got some badly needed rain! Some areas got up to 2 inches.”

“We have gotten a few late afternoon showers. Unfortunately we are still behind the 8-ball in terms of rainfall. We have seen most of our corn crop start to show signs of severe drought stress.”

“Scattered rain continues.”

District 6 — East Central

“Scattered rains provided some help to dryland crops. Not all areas received rain!”

“Getting some much needed showers county-wide, some more and some less, but everyone is better off than 10 days ago. I believe the last of our double-cropped beans and cotton are going to make a stand but it's going to require a very warm September and October to make late cotton. We just recently finished the first cutting of hay and it was pretty poor, worse than last year. People still planting millet and sorghum for feed and (hopefully) hay. Spraying peanuts with fungicides and boron. Just starting to peg pretty well. Large TBW and CEW moth flight has us watching beans, peanuts and refuge cotton for worms. Corn is ahead of schedule and shouldn't take but another couple of waterings. Some fields are only three weeks away from maturity and could finish faster, at the expense of 6-10 bushels per acre, if the water was cut off. Glyphosate resistant pigweed is definitely here now (resistant to 32 ounces per acre and up to at least 38 ounces per acre which is what I use to spray suspect weeds using a hand sprayer) and growers are finally admitting it. We'll have to alter weed control strategies "across the board" next year.”

“Some scattered showers.”

District 7 — Southwest

“Frequent rains the previous week improved growth conditions of peanuts, cotton and soybeans. Heat resulting in topsoil moisture to be depleted quickly.”

“Still have several dry spots in our area.”

District 8 — South Central

“Getting some showers. Worms and stink bugs leaving corn and attacking peanuts and cotton. Irrigation of crops if needed. Cutting hay between showers. Tobacco harvest about to be in full gear. Applying weed control to some late planted peanuts and cotton. We are still in a drought. Need a tropical storm to come through.”

“Crops are responding to rainfall in southern part of the county, the rain has been spotty in the county. We need a uniform rain in the county for good crop development!


High temperatures for the week ending July 13 ranged from the upper 80s to mid-90s. Nighttime lows were in the upper 60s to low 70s. Most counties throughout the state reported at least one inch of rain. Alachua and Collier counties reported 5.12 and 4.66 inches respectively. Levy, Orange, and Highlands counties all reported about 3.50 inches of rain. Most locations reported that drought conditions were eliminated or almost quenched.

Peanut pegging was 60 percent completed, compared to 51 percent last year. Peanut condition was rated 18 percent fair, 68 percent good, and 14 percent excellent.

Pasco County reported relatively large amounts of hay being baled. Growers in the Panhandle applied fungicides and herbicides last week. Soil moisture levels in the Panhandle and central Peninsula were adequate. The Big Bend and southern Peninsula had short to adequate soil moisture.

Pasture condition was fair to good in the Panhandle and northern areas. Stock pond water levels are coming up following recent rains. Grass and cattle were doing better in Suwannee County. Most cattle were in fair to good condition.

Pasture in the central area was poor to excellent. Rains have done wonders for pastures in Holmes County. The cattle condition improved with enhanced forage. Hay making was active. The condition of the cattle was poor to excellent.

In the southwestern area, pasture and cattle condition was in fair to excellent condition, with most in good condition. Statewide, cattle condition was poor to excellent, with most in good condition.

Temperatures were normal for this time of year in the citrus area, reaching the mid 90s in all producing areas at least one day of the week. Scattered afternoon and evening thunderstorms brought various amounts of rainfall. Areas in the southern citrus growing region received the most rainfall at over four and one half inches followed by the central growing region at 3.5 inches.

The east coast received the least rainfall at about one half inch. The daily showers have been beneficial to the growth of both the foliage and the new fruit. Trees look good in all areas, due to the favorable weather over the past several weeks.

Valencia harvest is relatively over for the season. Growers are now focusing on grove maintenance, scheduled management practices, canker and psyllid control.

Next season’s fruit is sizing well across the state and growers have a positive outlook for the crop.

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