South Florida was thirsting for rainfall prior to last weekend. The abnormally dry conditions were alleviated a little bit with steady moisture that soaked the region, says Gene McAvoy, University of Florida/IFAS Regional Vegetable Extension Agent IV Emeritus.
“We got about an inch and a half down around Immokalee (Florida). Some places were a little better,” McAvoy said. “It was a nice soaking rain, exactly what the doctor ordered.”
The dry weather created dire conditions for vegetable and specialty crop producers in the middle of their production season. According to the US Drought Monitor, most of the South Florida and Central Florida regions were abnormally dry last week. Some counties, like Collier County where McAvoy is located, and Monroe County, Palm Beach County and small parts of Broward County and Hendry County were classified in a moderate drought.
“We were starting to get awful dry around here. I’ve been hearing problems with things like blossom end rot and some of those issues that you see when it does get dry and it’s hard to keep the soil moisture constant,” McAvoy said.
The next US Drought Monitor update will be released on Thursday.