Rainfall welcomed, totals vary drastically

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, July 17, 2008

Rainfall was fairly widespread during the past week. However, precipitation totals varied drastically depending on location.

Donald E. Mann, County Executive Director in the Jackson County FSA office, reported that the area received only light, scattered rainfall, and continued to suffer from severe drought conditions.

John Dorrill, County Executive Director in the Henry County FSA office, said places have been getting afternoon showers. Larry Forrester, County Executive Director in the Dale County FSA office, noted that soils have been depleted of moisture that accumulated from previous rains.

Average temperatures varied from 3 degrees below to as many as 6 degrees above normal. Daytime highs ranged from 91 degrees in Union Springs and Highland Home to 98 degrees in Muscle Shoals and Hamilton. Overnight lows varied from 64 degrees in Bridgeport, Opelika, and Union Springs to 71 degrees in Birmingham and Dothan.

All weather stations reported receiving rainfall during the past week. Precipitation totals ranged from 0.16 inches in Hamilton over a two-day period to a whopping 5.19 inches in three days in Montgomery.


The amount of moisture received has greatly affected the condition of Alabama’s row crops. Doyle Dutton, County Executive Director in the Lawrence County FSA office, stated that some areas received spotty rainfall, but the county needed a good, soaking rain. As a result, some of the corn in Lawrence County was suffering due to a lack of available soil moisture. Mann reported that row crops in Jackson County remained stressed, with corn being in the most critical state. Jeff Knotts, County Executive Director in the Pike County FSA office, mentioned that scattered rainfall provided some much needed relief to crops during the past week, and may have saved the county’s corn crop. Thomas D. Atkinson, County Executive Director in the Madison County FSA office, indicated that spring and summer seeded crops needed rain, and that the county’s cotton crop was holding up the best. Shane Seay, County Executive Director in the Limestone County FSA office, reported that the counties double-cropped soybeans were planted, but the stands were weak or in some places being replanted. Olin F. Farrior, County Extension Coordinator for Escambia County, stated that escape weeds were a problem in some fields. Glyphosate resistance was suspected in some areas, while other areas had rain that washed the herbicides off of the crops.


As with Alabama’s row crops, pasture conditions varied across the state, but overall, showed slight improvement. T. H. Gregg, Regional Extension Agent located in Etowah County, mentioned that many pastures in the area were dry. Mann added that Jackson County pastures were in poor to fair condition. Henry Dorough, Regional Extension Agent located in Talladega County, noted that some much needed rainfall helped to somewhat improve pasture and hayfield conditions. However, stock ponds and small streams utilized by cattle were drying up. Kenneth Kelley, Regional Extension Agent located in Mobile County, noted that recent rains have helped forage production. Livestock conditions remained virtually unchanged from a week ago, with the majority of animals in good to excellent condition.

– from staff reports