Rain Drowns Drought In Southeast Alabama

Southeast Alabama receives two feet of rain in two weeks.

Published on: Mar 5, 2013

By Debra Davis

Just a month ago, Geneva County was in a "severe drought," according to the USDA Drought Monitor – demonstrating just how quickly conditions can change for Alabama farmers. Steve Dunn, a cattle farmer in Geneva County in southeast Alabama, had almost two feet of rain the last two weeks of February.

Ironically, the biggest problem the rain caused on Dunn's farm was damage to an irrigation system he's building.

"The top of the ground is saturated," said Dunn, District 12 Director for the Alabama Farmers Federation. "It's hard to find high ground to feed cattle on, and if you do, it's hard to get there."

From left, Sam and Steve Dunn of Geneva County examine erosion of an irrigation pond under construction on their farm. The area recorded nearly two feet of rain in the last two weeks.
From left, Sam and Steve Dunn of Geneva County examine erosion of an irrigation pond under construction on their farm. The area recorded nearly two feet of rain in the last two weeks.

The unfinished pond experienced severe erosion. Dunn and his son, Sam, helped free cattle bogged in mud-filled trenches where irrigation pipe was recently laid.

Even leaving home has been a problem for the Dunns. Rains washed away the dirt road leading to their home, making off-road vehicles their only source of transportation.

As things began to dry out, Dunn forecasts brighter days ahead.

"Hopefully, with the irrigation system, we can capture future rains and have it for our crops next summer," he said.

Davis writes for the Alabama Farmers Federation.