Hurricane Irma strengthened to a Category 5 storm with sustained winds of 175 mph as of Monday, Sept. 5. It’s moving west-northwest on its present track, but longer-term models project that it will make a sharp turn to the north later this week, which could threaten parts of the Southeast, including Georgia.
As concerns grow over the ability of the Upper Floridan Aquifer to keep up with demands for water from residents, farms and forests, four universities are teaming up to look at the economic sustainability of agriculture and forestry in north Florida and south Georgia that rely on this water supply.
After a month of below-normal temperatures, Georgia’s summer temperatures returned in July. Most of the state, except for the southeastern counties, was warmer and drier than normal, but climatologists don’t believe a drought is likely to develop over the next three months.
Georgia farmers had fewer opportunities to effectively harvest watermelons in June thanks to an increase in rain, but disease pressure is what truly led to lower yields in the crop this year, according to University of Georgia Cooperative Extension vegetable horticulturist Tim Coolong.
April brought plentiful spring showers to north Georgia but little rainfall to the southern half of the state, resulting in moderate drought conditions, delayed planting, and conditions conducive to wildfires near the Okefenokee Swamp.
As a result of two years of aggressive training to improve on-target agricultural pesticide applications, the number of pesticide drift complaints received by University of Georgia Cooperative Extension has gone down 65 percent, according to UGA Extension weed specialist Stanley Culpepper.