Rains Force Early Finish for South Georgia Specialty Crops

Web AdminGeorgia, Weather

By Clint Thompson

The extreme heat this summer nearly took its toll on farmer Bill Brim’s specialty crops. The persistent rains the past couple of weeks definitely did.

Specialty Crops
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Bill Brim, part owner of Lewis Taylor Farms in Tifton, Georgia, discussed the impact that the saturated conditions had on his specialty crops like pepper and squash.

Specialty Crops
Bill Brim

“On pepper it finished us up probably two weeks early. On cucumbers and squash, it finished us up probably maybe two weeks early,” Brim said. “We were still picking some, but the yields cut down because pollination got so bad on it. It got so hot. Fortunately, we were real lucky with the watermelons because we were missing the rain over in Worth County,” Brim said.

“We were getting it over here (in Tift County) and wasn’t getting it over there. We kept praying we would miss that rain over there and it missed us until we got through with the last day of picking. I guess the good Lord was watching out for us. As soon as we got finished with that last trailer, he let it come out then.”

According to the University of Georgia Weather Network, Tifton, Georgia, received 5.09 inches of rainfall and 14 rainy days from July 6 to July 26, compared to 6.33 inches and 18 rainy days during the rainy season of 2021.

“We had 12 days over 100-degree temperatures. Once that stopped, it started raining,” Brim said. “It was one thing right after the other.

“Your help is sitting around because they couldn’t do anything. Then you’ve got stuff you need to be doing with spraying and stuff for the next crop, just trying to get the next crop ready … it’s just a mess.”

Fortunately, Brim planned ahead with regards to preparing for his fall crop. Plastic was laid months in advance.

“We started back in May because all of our people go home July 15, except for a few of them. We had a bunch of our plastic laid. We only like 30 acres but it’s got us held up where we can’t lay it. We were real fortunate where we planned ahead. We laid 500 acres in May and June,” Brim said.

“We would have been in a mess (otherwise).”