Rainfall continues to lack all across Alabama. Thus, statewide drought conditions continue to worsen, with rapid onset drought taking place in the Tennessee Valley.
Lee Ellenburg the Associate State Climatologist says that North Alabama has experienced flash drought conditions. Meaning that there has been a rapid intensification of drought conditions in the Tennessee Valley.
Not only is the northern part of the state suffering from drought, but Ellenburg explains that parts of South Alabama have been experiencing drought conditions since July. It could possibly take 5-6 inches of rain to get them back to normal.
Drought impacts the food we eat and the products we purchase. Brianne Minton with Drought Reach says there are more than 600,000 people employed and around $70 billion in economic impact from AGG and forestry, a lot of what we consume is grown in Alabama.
The drought impacts farmers the most, making the harvest difficult. According to Minton peanut farmers in South Alabama have been among the hardest hit.
The ground is so dry and so hard that it makes it very difficult to harvest peanuts and can cause damage to the harvesting machines, informs Minton. Minton says that some farmers may delay the harvest because the dry ground can be such a hassle.
It is not just crop farmers who are suffering from drought conditions, cattle farmers are also seeing losses. Minton says that some people are starting to sell off their cattle because they do not have enough hay or pastureland to feed.
While drought conditions continue to worsen, for now, improvements will come. Ellenburg says that rain will come, it is just a matter of when and how much.