ALBANY -- Tropical Storm Beryl skirted around Southwest Georgia Tuesday, offering a "brief respite" from dry conditions but nothing like the potential deluge of 5 inches or more of rain many predicted.
Beryl, downgraded to a tropical depression, was centered around Valdosta early Tuesday and continued to churn across the southeastern portion of the state toward South Carolina, leaving farmers in this area with nothing more than a gentle mist of precipitation.
"If you didn't receive any more rain than we got at the research park, it was not enough to really make an appreciable dent in what crops are needing right now," said Calvin Perry, superintendent of the C.M. Stripling Irrigation Research park, located on Georgia Highway 37 between Camilla and Newton. The park is operated by the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
"We're thankful for the cooling effect and the little bit of rain, but we're still having to fire up irrigation systems."
Chris Tyson, a UGA Cooperative Extension Service agent in Worth County, said most farmland in his county received two- to three-tenths of an inch of rain.
"Any little bit of rain sure helps, especially in dryland (without irrigation) places," Tyson said. "We've been lucky in most of the county so far with having adequate showers to get enough moisture to our plants."
Tyson said most peanut and cotton producers either have already planted this year's crop or will wind up the planting in the next two weeks.
Perry said cotton and peanut producers are not the major concern at the moment.
"That concern is minimal right now," he said. "The plants are small and not drawing much water. The little bit we got did help."
Corn and sweet corn crops are another issue, Perry said.
"Some corn needs a quarter to three-tenths of an inch a day," he said. "Here, we got two-tenths from the storm system, so it helped us for one day, but we're running irrigation here today (Tuesday).
"Unfortunately, we thought we were going to get a lot and we got precious little."
The National Weather Service predicts a 40 percent chance of rain through Friday for the metro Albany area before skies are expected to become sunny with high temperatures in the high 90s arriving by the weekend.