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County sees drier weather in September

Chilton County finished the month of September drier than normal but still ahead of normal for the year.

The Chilton Research and Extension Center received just over three inches of rain, bringing the yearly total to 47.19 inches. The September total is below the previous two years’ amounts by an inch to one and one-half inches.

Horticulturalist Bobby Boozer said the overall total isn’t bad for the month, but the lack of a good rainfall in the three weeks is a cause for concern.

“It only takes about three weeks for drought conditions to set in,” Boozer said. “We haven’t had a good rain since Sept. 10.”

The current weather forecast doesn’t call for any rainfall over the next week. Boozer said moisture conditions have deteriorated over the last couple of weeks, but the situation is still much better than last year.

The dry conditions are actually helping the cotton crops. Boozer said the current weather is conducive to its development.

For the peach trees, however, the dry weather could negatively affect the bud development.

“We could see some doubling in the peach buds,” Boozer said. “We had that at the tail end of last year. When you get doubling, it can become a headache when you are thinning the peaches.”

Yesterday, the extension also began counting chill hours, the number of hours that the air temperature is below 45 degrees. The peach trees might get an early hour or two this weekend as a cold front brings in cooler weather.

“We didn’t really get that many chill hours before November last year,” Boozer said.