Seminole Crop E News

Agricultural News for Farmers and Agribusiness in SW Georgia

Posts Tagged ‘weather’

Cold burn on Small Grains

Posted by romeethredge on January 19, 2015

We are seeing some cold damage on small grains due to the very cold temperatures around Jan 8th. The cold duration was a problem as well. Some small grain growing for forage had been fertilized and was very lush and was affected a little worse.

If small grain heads were emerged we would have possibly seen problems but it’s much too early for that. All we really have seen is leaf  damage and burn and a slow down in growth. Moist soil holds heat better so you may see worse damage where soils were dry.

Usually the tallest part of the plant is damaged the worst due to being further from the warm soil. On Jan 8, the low was 18 degrees but the 2 inch soil temperature averaged 45 degrees for the day.


Here’s some oats being grown for cattle forage that got bit by the cold.



Here is some wheat being grown for grain with some leaf damage.

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Posted in Agriculture, Wheat | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Water and Weather Info and Outlook

Posted by romeethredge on March 28, 2014

 I gave a talk this week to our Young Farmers group concerning water and weather info and outlook. I have my slide show on youtube that you can watch below. I have links to most of the sites mentioned on my blog, that’s what the first few slides are showing.




Here are some of the highlights.

The Floridan Aquifer here is in good shape. Here’s water levels in the test well above Brinson Georgia in Miller county. This shows from this week and a year back in time. The blue line is our levels, The orange triangles are the long term average. So since July 2013 we are in good shape.


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Here’s what 2012 looked like with our aquifer levels, we were below average for sure.

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We see that so far in 2014 we are having normal rainfall and it looks like we are forecast for this to continue.

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You see that surface water in Georgia is in pretty good shape right now.

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Here’s our own Spring Creek levels for the past year.


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Our long term outlook is for normal rain, whatever normal is? What is normal?

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Cold Last Week

Posted by romeethredge on February 5, 2014

It was cold last week and we had slippery roads and some wintery mix of precipitation here on the Florida border. In our yard it was mainly sleet, I believe. My son, who is a senior in high school enjoyed his first “Snow Day” something the kids always envied about northern school children. On our Georgia Weather network, I see that we have 130 more hours below freezing this year as compared to last year.

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Cold March

Posted by romeethredge on April 12, 2013

It was a cold March. Here is the info from our Donalsonville Weather station that shows we had an average low of 42.7 degrees F. and the long term normal is 47 degrees. The average daily low last March was 56.3, so 13 degrees different.  March was cooler than January this year… January average temperature was 57.6 about  3 degrees warmer than the March average temperature.

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Temperatures were 4 to 7 degrees below normal across the state during March, and snow was even seen in a few places south of Atlanta. In many parts of the state, March was colder than January, causing some problems for Georgia crops and farmers. All this according to our University of Georgia Agricultural Climatologist with UGA Department of Crop and Soil Science, Pam Knox.

The cold conditions damaged some watermelon seedlings and delayed planting in some fields. Field corn was damaged by frost in some areas, and the cold and wet conditions also delayed the harvesting of Vidalia onions. It also slowed the ripening of blueberries in southern Georgia, and there was some isolated hail damage on March 30-31, but no significant losses were reported.

It was the 10th coldest March in 66 years in Columbus, the seventh coldest in Macon in 121 years and the fifth coldest in Savannah in 143 years of record.

Athens set a record low temperature of 27 degrees Fahrenheit on March 28, breaking the old record of 28 degrees set in 1913. Macon tied their record low of 30 degrees on March 28, and Savannah tied their record low of 34 degrees on March 26.

In addition to the broken records, many cities saw average temperatures that were 4 to 5 degrees cooler than usual.

In Atlanta, the monthly average temperature was 49.1 degrees F (5.2 degrees below normal). In Athens the average was 48.9 degrees (5.4 degrees below normal). In Columbus the average was 53.7 degrees (4.1 degrees below normal). In Macon it was 50.7 degrees (6.1 degrees below normal). In Savannah it was 53.8 degrees (5.4 degrees below normal).

For the most part, the state saw less rainfall than it did in February. However, with the wet conditions in February and the normal rainfall in March, severe drought was eliminated from the state. Only 16 percent of the state was experiencing any level of drought by March 31.

In Atlanta, the chilly weather turned some of the city’s rainfall into snow. A trace of snow was reported on both March 3 and March 26, breaking the old records of no snow on those dates.

Snow flurries were reported as far south as southern Fayette County in March. Dillard, in Rabun County, received 2 inches of snow on March 2. Several stations in Fannin County reported 1 inch on the same date.

Also the Florida Climate Center reported on a cool March. “Average temperatures well below normal across the Florida in March. Average temperatures were well below normal for March across the entire state. Departures from normal ranged from -4.0˚F to -6.0˚F across Florida, and there are reports of some locations that were -8.0˚F below normal. Overall, the average temperatures for March 2013 were colder than meteorological winter (Dec 1st- Feb 28th) and were significantly different than March 2012, when some locations were more than 6.0˚F above the normal. March 2013 was the 2nd coldest at both Jacksonville and Gainesville, the 5th coldest at Tallahassee and Tampa, the 6th coldest at Fort Myers, the 7th coldest at Pensacola, Orlando and St. Petersburg and the 8th coldest in Key West.”

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Late Cold Spring Frost

Posted by romeethredge on March 30, 2013

We had a late frost this week. Our normal last frost date is March 14, but we had frost this week on March 27th. See the numbers below from our weather station here in Donalsonville. It got down to 32.1 that morning. Thankfully it didn’t stay cold very long and didn’t cause much damage. Corn that was up and was shining in the row last week is now an almost neon yellow and has some cold damage to emerged leaves. Some young vegetables that had been set out are set back but are alive for the most part. Snap beans just emerging look ok. It’s interesting to me to see that the daily average 2 inch soil temperatures still look ok for the past few days. This is good for corn still in the ground.

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Snap beans just coming up.

Snapbean field.

Snapbean field.

Squash cold and wind damage.

Squash cold and wind damage.

Just dodged the bullet, growing point still alive, it should survive.

Just dodged the bullet, growing point still alive, it should survive.

Posted in Corn, Crops, vegetables | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Neutral Ocean Temperatures

Posted by romeethredge on February 18, 2013

Neutral ocean temperatures in the Eastern Pacific Ocean leave climate forecasters guessing, according to Pam Knox, University of Georgia Agricultural Climatologist.

This year’s near-average sea surface temperatures in the eastern Pacific Ocean show the persistence of the current neutral phase of ENSO (El Niño Southern Oscillation) over the last few months. While the ocean and overlying atmosphere often oscillate between warmer than usual (El Niño) and cooler than usual (the opposite phase, La Niña), this year ocean temperatures have stayed near their long-term average values.  When neutral conditions like this occur, winter temperatures in Georgia tend to swing wildly between cold and warm conditions.

That is exactly what we have seen this year.  In addition to the swings in temperature, precipitation has also varied substantially across the state.  Earlier this winter, the atmosphere was locked into a pattern which caused flooding in northwest Georgia but left the southern half of the state high and dry.  More recently, the axis of the storms has shifted to central Georgia, dumping excess rain across areas in exceptional drought.  Some areas of far southern Georgia still has not seen the heavy rains that other parts of the state have experienced.   The rain has been a mixed blessing, improving soil moisture conditions and raising the levels of farm ponds, but making it difficult to get into the fields to prepare for the coming growing season.

Neutral conditions are forecast to continue for the next few months.  One of the consequences of neutral conditions is an increased chance for killing frost late in the season as the swings in temperature continue.  Another is the increased chance for tropical storm activity and rain during the June-November period.  By next fall, we could see either an El Niño or a La Niña return, or neutral conditions could continue.  Current forecasts show us most likely to continue in neutral conditions at least into next winter, but if we switch to a different phase, La Niña is twice as likely as El Niño to occur.  If La Niña comes back, we can expect to see a return to drier and warmer than normal conditions next winter.

Climate predictions for the next few months are for an increased chance of above normal temperatures to continue through August, but no predictable pattern in precipitation.  Once we get into the tropical season, then the rainfall will depend critically on exactly where the storms go, something no climatologists can predict at this point.Fullscreen capture 2182013 42923 PM Fullscreen capture 2182013 42947 PM

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2012 Weather Comparisons

Posted by romeethredge on January 10, 2013

2012 was another interesting weather year. Our weather station at the airport just south of Donalsonville enables us to take a close look at the weather here.

The water balance provides a quick look at the amount of water that is in surplus or in deficit calculated based on the incoming water (rainfall) minus the demand for water in the form of evapotranspiration (ET). A negative value means ET is higher than rainfall for a particular period.Fullscreen capture 132013 43453 PMFullscreen capture 132013 45743 PM

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Here’s the rainfall data that shows we were still below the average but much better than 2011, also there were some areas of the county that had much more rain than what fell at the airport.

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