It’s been a difficult summer for applying generalities to lower Southeastern weather conditions.

While dryland corn has toasted in parts of Alabama, entire fields have been washed out by flooding in north Florida.

In late June, Tropical Storm Debby was truly a drought buster for parts of north Florida, but she also left plenty of damage in her wake, dumping up to 25 inches of rain in some areas and washing out fields in the state’s Panhandle and north-central regions.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, the storm dropped 5 inches or more of rain over most of the Florida drought areas, with widespread 10-plus inch storm totals. Parts of extreme southern and southeast Georgia also were in Debby’s path, with the rainfall relieving drought conditions in that area of the state.

The drought monitor reports that the “tropical inundation all but eliminated drought from Florida.”  Only a small patch of low-level drought conditions remained along the southwest coast where Debby’s rainfall totals of only an inch or two did little to eliminate deficits which have accumulated over several months.

July brought more scattered rain showers, and soil moisture across the northern field crop region of Florida continued to improve while some growers in Columbia County continued to assess damage from the tropical storm.

Irrigated and non-irrigated crops were reported in mostly good condition, and by late July, some growers had even started harvesting early peanuts in northern Florida. The peanut condition was rated 1 percent poor, 11 percent fair, 80 percent good, and 8 percent excellent.

Favorable weather conditions allowed Florida growers to prepare fields for fall crop planting.

Producers marketed avocadoes in Homestead, and okra harvesting remained active in Miami-Dade County. Tomato picking declined seasonally in the Quincy area as growers begin to prepare for the fall tomato season, and watermelon harvesting concluded in mid-July.

Statewide,most pastures in all areas of Florida were in good condition in July. Drought was the limiting factor followed by flooding. The condition of the state’s cattle ranged from very poor to excellent with most in good condition, though extreme heat was causing some problems.  

In the Panhandle, pastures were in very poor to excellent condition with most fair. Low-lying pastures in Baker County which had standing water were recovering. In the central areas, the pastures were in very poor to excellent condition with most rated good.

The cattle condition was poor to excellent with most in good condition. In the southwestern areas, the pasture conditions were fair to excellent. The condition of the cattle ranged from poor to excellent with most in good condition in southwest Florida.