Crops feeling the effects of the brutal weather include peanuts, corn and hay.
“It’s kind of a do-or-die situation right now for the (regions) that have not had rain,” Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black said.
Extreme drought conditions are persisting in large parts of northwest Georgia, northeast Georgia and in metro Atlanta, according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor report released Thursday.
Most of north Georgia is now experiencing severe or extreme drought conditions, the report shows.
Parts of nine northwest Georgia counties are experiencing extreme drought; another nine counties in northeast Georgia also have extreme drought conditions, the drought report indicates.
Parts of several metro Atlanta counties – including Fulton, Cobb, Cherokee, Coweta and Douglas counties – are also weathering extreme drought.
The U.S. Drought Monitor is produced through a partnership between the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the federal government.
“The peanuts that don’t have irrigation are really kind of suffering from the drought,” said Don Koehler, executive director of the Georgia Peanut Commission. “They have not fully developed as far as plants.”
Farmers who do use irrigation are seeing costs go up, Koehler said.
Farmers are also having problems with hay in some parts of the state, said Pam Knox, a climatologist at the University of Georgia.
“If things were to really turn around and it got pretty nice and cool, and we got maybe two tropical storms that didn’t have a lot of wind but brought some good general soaking rains,
things could turn around some,” Koehler said.