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Farmers face drought

The corn stalks didn’t make it past three feet tall. As the summer sun beats down for weeks without rainfall, many crops are starting to suffer. Molena farmer Steve McCrary is one of thousands of regional farmers battling drought conditions. He gave up on his rows of corn because other plants needed the water. ’We are having to water everything constantly. It’s worse than last year,’ he said. ‘I’ve even had to water the fields before I can plant.’ McCrary Farms is battling the drought to produce potatoes, squash, cucumbers, zucchini, green beans, butter peas, onions and a variety of flowers. Although thousands of tomatoes have already been harvested, McCrary can see the lack of rain has hurt his tomato plants. Even with irrigation, some farmers are struggling to provide fields with enough water to reach high yields. ’Water supplies are tightening in Georgia and, unfortunately, a large portion of the corn crop is at the most critical stages of water demand,’ said Dewey Lee, an agronomist with University of Georgia Cooperative Extension. ‘It is still dry and very hot. Any stress now guarantees some yield loss depending on the length of the plant stress and its growth stage.’

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