ATHENS, Ga. — December temperatures were generally on par with historic averages. Total rainfall for the month ranged from 1.0 inch in Glynn County to 7.1 inches in Lumpkin County. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, 54 percent of the state had abnormally dry conditions and 28 percent had moderate drought conditions by month’s end, compared to 70 percent abnormally dry and 41 percent with moderate drought at the month’s beginning. Excessive rainfall in some areas throughout the month limited winter field activities. Severe cold temperatures around the end of December caused stress on crops and livestock across the state.
Livestock were reported to be in mostly fair condition, although some calves were noted to have been affected by the cold. The cold weather hurt cool season forages and winter grazing growth, thus prompting producers to increase supplemental feeding. Hay supplies were reported to be running low. Winter wheat growth was reported to have been stalled in some areas due to the below freezing temperatures but have since shown signs of recovery. Late planted cotton continued to be harvested and is nearing completion. Some cotton was severely damaged with bolls not opening in central Georgia.