Tropical Storm Erika Could Cause Defoliation/Harvest Problems

In the news this week is Tropical Storm Erika. Most of the weather forecast have Erika going up the East Coast or going into the Gulf of Mexico along the coast of Florida. Either way, producers should be very aware of Erika and its potential to interrupt defoliation and harvest in the next week. There are already a few fields of peanuts that have been dug/inverted in South Georgia and there are a many cotton fields that will see defoliation in the next week or two. We are encouraging all producers to vigilantly check the weather forecast and understand the potential damage that Erika may produce. Almost all producers check the weather daily, but with hurricanes and tropical storms it becomes even more important as some storms can linger for several days longer than anticipated.

While some of our later planted Georgia cotton could use a good rain, Erika may be more than producers are wishing for at the moment. With a cotton market still struggling to make it to 70 cents throughout the growing season, the last thing we need is trouble at harvest time.

There are several good resources available to track the latest updates on the weather and climate in Georgia.

Pam Knox, UGA Agricultural Climatologist, daily blog. Here is the latest post about Erika.

GaClimate.org for daily updates on current weather/climate conditions in Georgia.

The National Weather Service’s National Hurricane Center.

And of course there are others like The Weather Channel’s hurricane page and Accuweather’s hurricane updates.

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