Oddly Ordinary: Rain helps some, hurts others

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Don’t blame it on the rain… The lack of rain over the past two months has hurt the local farmers of the five counties the Demopolis Times covers, but it has also helped others like the construction of the new Demopolis Higher Learning Center.

Here are some figures about the lack of rain the last two months compared to the first two months of 2004.

* January- normally have 5.45 inches, reported 9.47 inches

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* February- normally have 5.56 inches, reported 8.80 inches

* March- normally have 6.93 inches, reported 2.51 inches

* April- normally have 5.62 inches, reported so far 2.31 inches

Perry County Extension Agent Daniel Jones and WAKA Channel 8 Meteorologist Damon Cullen agreed that the current drought has affected the local farmers of the area especially since its time to start planting crops and the ground is still to dry. Jones said a lot of the farmers are in the process of fertilizing their pastures and hayfields, but they need the rain to soften the ground.

Cullen said there really is no specific thing that is currently going on that is stopping the rain from coming to the South as a whole, not only Alabama. He also said many of the states like Texas, Arkansas currently have an abundance of rain, but Alabama and the Carolinas are really hurting for it right now.

“It’s like we are in a bubble of no rainfall right now,” Cullen said.

Jones said many of the farmers are currently planting corn in their fields, but due to the fact there has been zero rainfall, this has made many farmers scared to plant right now. He also said the rainfall on Monday will help ease the tension a little bit and he thinks that the farmers will start to plant their other crops like cotton and soy beans.

“The drought has been really hard on our main product here in Perry County and that is the cattle market,” Jones said, “With the lack of rain, it can only get worse.”

Cullen said he thinks the weather will start to get better real soon. He also said he hopes it will because he doesn’t look forward to those harsh Alabama summers.

Jones said the heat has been a major factor along with the lack of rain that ended up burning some more of the forest around Perry County and many other areas as well. He also said another major industry of this area; the catfish plants and farmers have been battling the heat and lack of rainfall, by having to run their air raiders more often.

The only industry really glad the rain has gone away is the construction agencies. They have made some remarkable strides in the building of the new Demopolis Higher Learning Center located by the Demopolis Sportsplex.