DOTHAN, Ala. (AP) — Farmers in Alabama's peanut belt are hopeful about the upcoming harvest.

Larry Wells of the Wiregrass Research and Extension Center says rainfall this year has been just what the crop needs: Neither too dry nor too wet. That allows farmers to work in their fields to maintain the peanut plants.

Wells tells the Dothan Eagle that the crucial months for rain will still be August and September. He says receiving about 1 inch of rain a week will keep crops on the right path for harvest.

Rainfall patterns are encouraging for that to happen. Alabama is completely drought-free, which is a big improvement from a year ago. In 2016, about 62 percent of the state was either abnormally dry or in a drought.

Wells says peanut harvesting begins in mid-September.