Excessive rainfall in January and so far in February has vegetable producers playing catch-up in preparing for the upcoming season.
“We’re way behind as far as laying new plastic for the spring and everything,” said Bill Brim, part owner of Lewis Taylor Farms in Tifton, Georgia on Friday. “We probably still like about 600 acres of plastic to lay. We laid a little bit (Thursday) and a little bit (Friday) and that’s it; about 40 or 50 acres. We really need some dry weather now to try to get some stuff done.”
Brim and other farmers in south Georgia got some sunshine on Sunday and Monday. But according to weather.com, there is a high chance of rain the rest of the week.
According to the University of Georgia Weather Network, Tifton, Georgia has received 8.67 inches from Jan. 1 to Feb. 7, compared to 4.93 in 2020 and 5.18 in 2019. In Moultrie, Georgia where the Sunbelt Ag Expo is located, it has recorded 8.37 inches from Jan. 1 to Feb. 7, compared to 4.86 in 2020 and 5.83 in 2019.
The Lewis Taylor Farms website states it produces more than 6,500 acres of produce every year. Fortunately, it started laying plastic when it did near the end of 2020. If not, it would really be behind in getting row beds ready to plant.
“We started back at the end of November laying (plastic). I’m sure glad we did, because if we hadn’t, we’d be in a real mess. We wouldn’t have gotten anything laid, probably from mid-December to now,” Brim said.