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Central Georgia farmers say drought a blessing and a curse

The lack of rainfall, not only for September, but for the year, has been both a blessing and a curse for farmers.

OGLETHORPE, Ga. — Farmer Donald Chase checks in on some of his peanuts that didn't get much-needed water, otherwise known as dry-land crops.

"We call that 'whited out' -- you can tell they're really moisture-stressed," Chase said, pointing to some of the wilted peanut plants. 

The lack of rain prior to harvest without proper irrigation comes with some risks. 

"Let's go ahead and pull some up, and I feel fortunate to have that kind of crop, but I also know there might be some nuts in here that aren't fully matured," Chase said, pulling up some peanuts.

But the well-being of some of his dry-land crops may not be the outcome for everyone.

"The dry-land crops, it's going to be hard to make up an economic yield in some places. If you didn't irrigate, that's what you have to look forward to," Chase said.

Most of Chase Farms is irrigated. Chase says his irrigation system had to work overtime this year.

"We've irrigated twice as much on average as we normally do."

While our lack of rainfall can be detrimental to crops, the dry weather, in some ways, can be beneficial.

Chase began harvesting his peanuts Friday morning, and the abundance of sunshine and absence of rain was perfect.

"Harvesting is really benefited by drier weather and particularly less humidity, so that's going to be really nice for harvest time," Chase said. 

Not only will it be nice for central Georgia farmers as they kick off their harvest, but farmers across the state as they reap the benefits of their hours of hard work. 

Chase says he is glad to see dry weather for at least the next week, not only for him, but for cotton farmers.

Cotton farmers also don't want the rain as it's time to harvest. Rain can actually rot part of the crop.

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RELATED: Central Georgia crops to benefit from rainfall after drought

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