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July 17, 2014
STUTTGART, Ark. -- Arkansas’ abundant rainfall looks good on the latest U.S. Drought
Monitor map, with less than 14 percent of the state in the least intense drought category,
however the rain-filled forecast for Thursday and Friday is heaping more worry on
the state’s farmers.
The National Weather Service in Little Rock issued a flash flood watch in effect through
Friday evening for Arkansas, Clark, Conway, Faulkner, Garland, Hot Spring, Johnson,
Logan, Montgomery, Perry, Pike, Polk, Pope, Pulaski, Saline, Scott and Yell counties.
The weather service said that through Friday evening, rainfall for central and east
central Arkansas could range from 1-3 inches, with locally heavier amounts.
“We’re just kind of bracing to see how much rain it’s going to bring,” said Van Banks,
Monroe County extension staff chair for the University of Arkansas System Division
of Agriculture. Banks’ county was hit hard with the rain that fell June 29, flooding
farm fields and parts of the city of Brinkley.
Banks said that “one of my farmers has been running six pumps day and night to get
water off the fields and he’s still got 150-200 acres under water.
“He’s trying to get in there and replant,” he said, adding that with anymore water
this week, is “going to set him back 10 days and the planting window’s closing now.”
Banks said the most grown type of soybeans takes 120 days to mature and if planted
now, that will have them maturing around the time of the first frost.
“The numbers are beginning to work against us,” he said, “but you never know.”
“While people are concentrating on soybeans, we had a lot of corn that’s silking and
it has a foot of water on it and corn doesn't like wet feet,” Banks said. “We have
rice that was knee high that’s been under water for five to six days. It’s affecting
all of our crops.”
Jarrod Hardke, extension rice agronomist for the University of Arkansas System Division
of Agriculture, said that I rice, “the heavy rains could lead to more submerged rice,
some of it as heading begins.
“Submerged rice that is beginning to head could negatively impact pollination and
grain fill, ultimately leading to direct yield losses,” he said. “In other situations
where water depth is increased but not to the point of submersion, levee washouts
will be the primary concern.”
Hardke said that increased water levels could also increase disease progress, mainly
moving sheath blight higher in the plant canopy, which could lead to more fungicide
applications to control the disease.
For more information about crop production, visit www.uaex.uada.edu, http://arkansascrops.com or contact your county extension office.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers its programs to all
eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age,
disability, marital or veteran status, or any other legally protected status, and
is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
By Mary HightowerCooperative Extension ServiceU of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Mary HightowerDir. of Communication ServicesU of A Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service(501) firstname.lastname@example.org