Deep planting in unfavorable soil temperatures, or in soils that tend to crust, could lead to germination and emergence problems.

Planting at depths closer to 1.25 inches is only appropriate when planting in good soil moisture, warm soil temperatures, and in well-drained soils without the potential for crusting.

The success of deep planting is more probable if soil moisture at these depths is sufficient and forecasted conditions continue to remain favorable until seedlings emerge.

Statewide topsoil moistures in Georgia at about the middle of May were rated at 17 percent very short, 38 percent short, 41 percent adequate and only 4 percent surplus.

Subsoil moisture for the state was 11 percent very short, 40 percent short, 46 percent adequate and 3 percent surplus.

In Alabama topsoil moistures at mid-May were 4 percent very short, 19 percent short, 54 percent adequate and 18 percent surplus, with the surplus measurements mostly in the northern half of the state.

Twenty-eight percent of Alabama’s cotton crop had been planted compared to a five-year average of 44 percent.

In mid-May in the Southeast region, from Virginia southward through Florida and southwestward through Mississippi, only light precipitation was observed, if any. As a result, the U.S. Drought Monitor classifications worsened, particularly along and near the Gulf Coast, where surface moisture declined markedly.

The extreme drought classification was introduced into parts of southeastern Georgia and extended slightly southward along the southeastern coast of Florida.

Severe drought was expanded to include southeastern Alabama, the western Florida Panhandle, most of the southern half of Georgia and coastal east-central Florida.

In addition, abnormally dry conditions expanded northwestward in northeast Georgia and western South Carolina.

For the last three months, rainfall was 8 to more than 12 inches below normal across southern sections of Mississippi and Alabama, and through the western Florida Panhandle.

Unfortunately, says Georgia State Climatologist David Emory Stooksbury, these conditions could become more severe.