In the past few weeks I’ve been getting phone calls from cattle producers in NW Georgia and NE Alabama to complain about the Drought Monitor depiction in their area. Many of these counties have not seen much if any rain in weeks, and with the higher than normal temperatures we are experiencing, their soils are very dry, streamflow is near zero, and many farm ponds are also very low. As a result, producers are feeding stored hay since nothing is growing in the pastures and are having to cull cattle to make sure they have enough feed and water for what remains. Small grains farmers in that area are also stymied because with such dry soil, any seed they put in the ground does not germinate because of the lack of moisture.

Fortunately, by Friday I expect to see some rain come back into Alabama and Georgia, which should provide some relief, but we are now past our first frost so there is not much time to get any seedlings to develop before it gets too cold. And since we are past November 1, forage producers are not able to claim credit for drought-impacted forage since we did not reach critical levels until too late in the fall. You can read more at Alabama Cattlemen Looking at All Aspects of the Current Drought – Southeast AgNET.

A trio tractors rake, bale and collect straw at Scoggins Farm, a family farm on West Armuchee Road in South Walker County, Ga., on June 1, 2017. Plentiful rain so far this spring has fostered a far better growing season so far, local agriculture officials say. Photo by Ben Benton /Times Free Press.
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