By Clint Thompson
South Georgia is not the only part of the state receiving excessive rains this summer. The northern part of the state has received its share as well. It is impacting production at Jaemor Farms in Alto, Georgia, located just above Gainesville.
Drew Echols, owner of Jaemor Farms, said his 20 acres of watermelons will be ready for harvest, beginning next week. The rainy conditions do not favor the crop’s development.
“These three inches of rain I got (Monday) and (Tuesday) is not very timely. It was almost perfect until then. Now, it’s like, turn the faucet off,” Echols said. “Overall, I can’t complain too much, but would I like for it to be a little bit drier? Absolutely, and sunshine a little bit more.”
How Much Rain?
According to the University of Georgia Weather Network, Gainesville, Georgia received 6.44 inches of rain from July 1 to July 20 along with 14 rainy days. That compares to just 1.29 inches and 5 rainy days in 2020 and 2.91 inches and 7 rainy days in 2019.
“When this rain gets through, we’re going to have spray machines rolling Thursday and Friday on peaches, on vegetables, on watermelons, on pumpkins, on everything. I told a couple of my guys (Tuesday) morning in the shop, ya’ll have fun Thursday because we’re going to be on tractors for about 24 hours straight it looks like,” Echols said.
The impact is also felt in how many patrons can visit Jaemor Farms.
“It’s like a light switch. When people are running up and down this four-lane, if it’s raining, they’re not pulling off. If their destination is the Smoky Mountains, Asheville, Franklin, Gatlinburg, their destination is the mountains, they’re not pulling off to get out in the rain. Also, in a lot of cases, we are a destination. People are coming up here and buying their stuff and going back to Atlanta, so they don’t want to drive in the rains. It’s just one of those things you have to grin and bear it,” Echols said.