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Rain: A mixed blessing

Heavy rains, including those this past week associated with Tropical Storm Andrea, have completely eliminated all symptoms of the severe drought that persevered here for years but are a mixed blessing for those in timber and agriculture ventures. The good news is irrigation ponds are full and, at present, there is little need for supplemental watering. The bad news comes when drenched ground results in trees being uprooted by high winds or the ground becomes too wet to plant or use heavy equipment to harvest crops. In recent days, some corn crops have been impacted as winds blew over stalks rooted in saturated ground. Some farmers were late planting summer crops due to wet fields and the harvest of winter wheat has been delayed. Sauney Pippin of County Line Farm is in that situation. ‘We didn’t get all that much rain this past weekend but we have been delayed in gathering our wheat crop. We need to get it out of the field or we will have sprouts out there,’ Pippin said. While the Georgia Forestry Commission’s official gauge showed one inch, Ken Green reported over four inches on Greenwood Street as did a cattleman on Gordon Road. ‘My dad checks that thing religiously,’ Green said of his report. Herald-Gazette readers Treva Kay Edge and Hugh Patrick reported about two inches over the weekend. The rain is good for those who grow grass for cattle or cut grass for a living. Lawns that have been brown for years are now lush from the steady liquid diet and require more frequent cutting which is good for landscapers and lawn care service operators. Those who grow grass to feed cattle or market hay are also enjoying the relative deluge.’We’ve had more than adequate rain but I’m not going to complain. Rain grows grass and that’s a big part of what we do,’ noted John Walters of Walters Farms in Johnstonville. After a rainy start to the week Monday, the forecast calls for lesser rain chances for the next 10 days with temperatures soaring into the mid-90s with scattered clouds. Sun and high temperatures will dry out fields for harvesting and grow even more grass for those who make their livings from it.

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