"Continuous rain has kept some wheat growers from completing harvest, which means they may not get to plant soybeans as a second crop. If fields don't dry out soon, unharvested wheat could begin to sprout, thus reducing quality and value. It's important for farmers to complete harvests soon, or it's likely they’ll run out of time before planting season ends.


Adamson said cotton planting across the state is complete, but excessive rain could cause soil and nutrient deficiencies.

"Overall, row crops need a few days to dry out, along with sunshine and moderate temperatures," Adamson added. "After another week or two, they will need another shower to keep progressing. Despite current conditions, farmers are upbeat about crop prospects, even if they aren't able to finish planting all the acres they intended."

While long-term effects of recent rainfall are unknown, hay and forage farmers may fare better than other farmers.

 "Timely rainfall has extended what was already a very good spring growing season for forages," said Federation Hay and Forage Division Director Nate Jaeger.

"However, farmers may actually see a decrease in forage quality and need to be cognizant of how this abundant rainfall may affect the forage they feed livestock this winter. A comprehensive forage test from the Auburn University laboratory is highly recommended."

Sessions said rainfall in south Alabama isn’t something new for this time of year, and he’s relieved the area has avoided tropical storms and hurricanes thus far. Still, the high levels of rainfall received in a short time have put quite a few farmers weeks behind on harvesting wheat, planting soybeans, and treating cotton, peanuts and pecans.

“If it doesn’t dry out soon, it’s definitely going to cause us issues later on,” Sessions said. “All the peanuts at our farm have been planted, but it’s especially important to treat peanuts on the front end to ward off any problems. We can’t really do that until it dries out, and we’re not sure when the rains will finally stop.”

From Jan. 1—July 9, portions of Alabama have received nearly double the average amount of rainfall as this time last year according to the National Weather Service. To view the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service’s Crop Progress and Condition Report for Alabama, visit http://www.nass.usda.gov/Publications/State_Crop_Progress_and_Condition.


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