Overly wet weather in Georgia’s major row crop regions during February 2016 has farmers worried that soggy soil may delay corn and peanut planting or cause fungal diseases to be a major issue later this spring.
University of Georgia Cooperative Extension plant pathologist Bob Kemerait cautions Georgia corn farmers about the El Nino weather pattern that will likely interfere with planting this March. A delay would increase the likelihood of diseases too, so Kemerait advises growers to plant resistant varieties and be ready to apply fungicides earlier than normal.
Complaints over off-target movement of chemical applications went down 48 percent from 2014 to 2015, but Georgia farmers must better understand the factors that influence drift, according to University of Georgia weed scientist Stanley Culpepper.
After a record-setting warm December 2015, January 2016 in Georgia was slightly cooler and drier than normal. While El Niño conditions mean a continuation of slightly cooler-than-normal conditions in February, it should also mean a wetter-than-normal month.
Much of Georgia was wetter than normal during November 2015, and with all that rain there’s a chance some runoff may have contaminated private wells around the state. While an odd taste, corrosion and staining are signs of water contamination, most contaminants aren’t readily detectible. Ensuring the safety and quality of your well water requires laboratory testing.
November 2015 was one of the 10 wettest, warmest Novembers on record for Georgia. Some areas of the state received as much as 10 inches more rain than is normal, and temperatures were generally 3 to 7 degrees above normal.