By Clint Thompson
South Georgia rains have been frequent this summer, and it is having an impact on some vegetable operations in the region.
“It’s been devastating,” said Bill Brim, part owner of Lewis Taylor Farms in Tifton, Georgia. “We get showers every day. You can’t pick. It just stays wet all the day. (Thursday) was the first sunshine we’ve seen in about a week.”
Tifton, Georgia has received its share of rains since the beginning of June. From June 1 to July 8, Tifton, Georgia received 10.06 inches, compared to 6 in 2020 and 6.22 in 2019.
If it hasn’t been raining, there have been overcast, cloudy conditions. Sunshine has been minimal, making it less than ideal conditions for vegetable crops to be harvested.
“It takes until 2, 3 or 4 o’clock in the afternoon before you can pick it and then it’s so brittle, you don’t really need to pick it because it just breaks the bush all to pieces. It’s been a trying time for sure,” Brim said. “Of course, the hurricane (Elsa) didn’t help anything. It kept bringing all that moisture up into here, and it just kept raining. We were lucky. (Wednesday) we didn’t get but four-tenths out of the actual hurricane, but prior to that, we got rain every day. I think them boys down in Lake Park (Georgia), they got 8 or 10 inches out of the hurricane. I know they’re floating away down there.”
Brim said his pepper crop is nearing an end amid the wet, humid conditions.
Just down the road in Norman Park, Georgia, farmer Kent Hamilton is experiencing similar impacts to his produce.
“I tell you just the rainy, cloudy weather has hurt us more than the rain. We hadn’t had just an unusual amount of rain, but we’ve had almost zero sunshine for the last three weeks,” said Hamilton, owner and CEO of Southern Valley in Norman Park, Georgia. “That’s hurt us. Rain and cloudy like this after it was dry for so long, the plants were rooted down well and had good root systems and then get all of this water on top of it, it just sucks it up. That causes diseases and poor quality. It’s kind of ending up our season early.”