Welcome rains during December 2016 and the first week of 2017 provided hope for Georgia farmers looking for relief from a statewide severe drought, according to Pam Knox, agricultural climatologist and UGA Cooperative Extension specialist. Georgia farmers should be encouraged by the wet, wintry conditions the area saw in mid-January.
“Drought does typically tend to decrease over the winter for a couple of reasons. We do tend to get more rain, and temperatures are cold, so we don’t get a lot of evaporation. The plants also aren’t growing, so they aren’t using much moisture either. Whatever we do get is going back into the soil,” Knox told PORK Network. “That’s just what we need.”
According to UGA’s Georgia Automated Environmental Monitoring Network, only 1.61 inches of rainfall were recorded in Tifton from Sept. 3 through Dec. 3, 2016. From Dec. 1, 2016, through Jan. 3, 2017, rainfall accumulation in Tifton measured 11.54 inches, almost twice as much as the 6.67 inches recorded from Dec. 1, 2015, through Jan. 3, 2016, in the same location.