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High temperatures put strain on Lowndes County neighbors

South Georgia's extreme heat is challenging local farmers and businesses, impacting their daily operations.
Posted at 6:16 PM, Jun 26, 2024
  • Extreme heat in South Georgia leads to increased veterinary costs and reduced animal growth for farmers.
  • Many Georgia farmers are adapting to climate change with smart irrigation, crop rotations, and new crops.
  • Watch the video to hear from a Lowndes County farmer and a local business about how the rising temperatures impacts their operations.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT

Big heat is impacting South Georgia neighbors in a big way.

"South Georgia heat is torture to say the least."

I’m Malia Thomas, your neighborhood reporter in Valdosta.

I'm checking in with area farms to see how they’ve been handling rising temperatures.

Teresa Miller owns SnoBiz Mobile.

They serve cool treats to help neighbors beat the South Georgia heat.

"During the summertime is our best time."

But just because they have air conditioning and serve frozen food, doesn't make working in the heat any easier.

"One of our events, right in the middle of one of the events, our generator messed up and it wouldn't pull the shaver and the air conditioner… we had to do without the air conditioner and we were so hot it…it was miserable."

Just feet away, Janet, Fifth Day Farms' owner, is feeling the heat as well.

"It's just hot, everywhere you go it's hot."

$83.6 billion of Georgia's economy come from agriculture: plants, livestock, and visitor tourism.

However, according to the Georgia Climate Info Portal, extreme heat results in monetary loss for farmers through increased need for veterinary care and reduced growth of animals, which Janet tells me she's seeing more of during the last few days of 96 and above temperatures.

"Where we've been affected by like we haven't had rain in a long time, so farmers that we typically get our hay from have been out of hay and we've had to find other resources to get the hay because our animals have to have that to eat every day."

Some good news: half of Georgia farmers are innovating with smart irrigation, crop rotations, new crops, and partnerships to adapt to climate change. In Valdosta, in Malia Thomas, reporting for ABC27.