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Rain welcomed in areas, crop conditions still vary

Weather conditions across the state remained diverse during the past week.

Shane Seay, County Executive Director in the Limestone County FSA office, indicated that temperatures reached the 100-degree mark with only spotty rain showers received.

Thomas D. Atkinson, County Executive Director in the Madison County FSA office, reported that some areas of the county had not received any significant rainfall since Memorial Day weekend. Conversely, Henry Dorough, Regional Extension Agent located in Talladega County, said widespread rainfall during the past week helped to alleviate some of the drought conditions in pastures and hayfields throughout the area. James D. Jones, Jr., County Extension Coordinator for Henry County, added that some much needed rain fell across the county during the past week.

Average temperatures during the past week varied from just below to well above normal, and were above the century mark in several places. Daytime highs ranged from 95 degrees in Union Springs, Bay Minette, and Highland Home to a sweltering 104 degrees in Hamilton. Overnight lows varied from 59 degrees in Bridgeport to 72 degrees in Montgomery, Bay Minette, Mobile, and Dothan.

All weather stations reported receiving rain during the past week. Total accumulations were well above one inch in numerous locations across the state, with Russellville, Bridgeport, Thomasville, and Mobile receiving over three inches. However, many areas that have received rainfall remained well behind normal in their year-to-date precipitation totals.

Corn/Cotton/Peanuts/Soybeans

The condition of Alabama’s row crops was dependent upon the amount of rainfall that had been received throughout the duration of this year’s growing season. Dale Monks, Agronomist with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, stated that some corn stands in central and southern Alabama were the best he had seen in recent years, while others located in the Wiregrass region bordered on disaster. It was reported that the condition of the state’s cotton crop varied from knee-high and blooming in extremely dry areas to chest high in regions that have received adequate moisture. The peanut crop was holding on well across the peanut belt. Leonard Kuykendall, Regional Extension Agent located in Autauga County, reported that a widespread rain boosted all crops, but particularly benefited peanuts and double-cropped soybeans. Alex Brand, County Executive Director in the Wilcox County FSA office, indicated that all crops needed rain, but that cotton and soybeans looked good in most places. Jeff Knotts, County Executive Director in the Pike County FSA office, stated that most of the county welcomed copious amounts of rainfall at a critical stage of the growing season. Producers spent the week making insecticide and herbicide applications to cotton, peanuts and soybeans.

Pasture/Hay/Livestock

Pasture conditions across the state varied, but overall showed a decline during the past week. Seay noted that the prospects for producers in Limestone County harvesting a second cutting of hay diminished as any grass that was available was being grazed. However, hay production in some areas of Districts 20 and 30 was thriving. T. H. Gregg, Regional Extension Agent located in Etowah County, mentioned that some hay producers in the area were able to harvest a second cutting of hay. Dorough added that a few producers in the Talladega County area were preparing to harvest a second cutting of hay. Most livestock remained in good to excellent condition during the past week, but showed a slight decline as pastures in many areas of the state continued to burn up.

– from staff reports