This summer rainfall in the United States has been about 6% above normal levels. However, with most of this rainfall being in the south, the farming industry in the area has taken a hit.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Climatic Data Center has found that Georgia has had levels of rain 34% above normal, South and North Carolina were 25% above normal, and Alabama was 22% above normal.
The rain has had a negative impact on crops that usually thrive in the hot, sunny, southern summers. One farmer, who usually gets about 60,000 pounds of watermelon from one acre of land, only produced 30,000 pounds. Overall it is predicted that the unusually rainy weather will end up costing the south billions of dollars.
Watermelon isn’t the only crop affected. The extra rain dilutes the sugar content in peaches, resulting in a less flavorful product (though the extra water does make them bigger and more perfectly shaped). Produce that has a short harvesting window has taken a hit because some days the land is simply too saturated to use the harvesting equipment.
The rain isn’t just affecting summer produce. There is a concern that the rain will bring a fungus called scab disease to the pecan crop in Georgia that is harvested in the fall. If the land doesn’t dry out by late August, peanut harvesting will be affected as well.
Only time will tell how long this wet season will last and what the actual cost will be, but as of now things aren’t looking good for the farming industry in the south.
Read the article here.