Georgia sees 60-70 percent loss due to drought

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August 16, 2006

A drought means farm crops dry up and you can't water your lawn when you want to.

Right now, Augusta is on the odd-even watering system, with no outdoor watering any day between ten am and four pm. We sure could use some rain.

During the summer, you don't expect to get widespread rain like you do fall through spring.

Instead it's more isolated, with hit or miss thunderstorms from late May to September. Because of this, and an extremely dry spring, we're seeing large rain deficits in the CSRA.

"You get these little pop up showers," explains Richmond County Extension Coordinator Sid Mullis. "They are very small, so if you're in the right spot you're not all that bad off, but widespread over the CSRA you're pretty bad off. Pretty dry right now."

Sid goes out and inspects the plants around the region and reports to the state office. Once that data is combined, statewide decisions can be made on what to do as far as water restrictions go.

The heat and the dryness cause problems with plants, but a drought can bring other insects.

Sid says we're looking at a 60 to 70 percent loss from drought this summer statewide.

"We have large areas of pastures, probably the biggest in the CSRA is pastures, and it's Bermuda grass mainly," he says. "It's pretty brown right now. It just hasn't got the rain it needs."

The only thing that could help out the drought in Georgia would be a tropical system coming through the area. If that doesn't happen, we'll just have to wait for fall.

So far this year our deficit has risen to above six and a half inches, whereas folks in Columbus, Georgia are nearly a foot under for the year.