UACES Facebook Rain submerges crops in River Valley, SW Arkansas
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Rain submerges crops in River Valley, SW Arkansas

By Mary Hightower
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Fast facts:

    • Flood warnings in effect along White, Arkansas, Ouachita, Black Rivers
    • Some crops submerged for 2-3 days

(516 words)
(Newsrooms: additional photos at:

PERRYVILLE, Ark. -- Perry County Extension Agent Jesse Bocksnick didn’t even have go outside to know how much rain had fallen in the last week.

“It’s never good when you get calls on how long the crops can stay submerged and live,” he said. 

STRANDED - Cattle stranded by rising Ouachita River in Hot Spring County, Arkansas. Taken May 11, 2015. (U of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture by David Stritzinger)

All across Arkansas, row crop and cattle farmers were keeping their eyes on their fields and pastures as well as the river crest reports following the previous days’ heavy rain. The National Weather Service reported a record daily rainfall on Monday in North Little Rock at 3.01 inches and 2.86 inches at Hot Springs. The forecast for the coming days was no comfort either. At least a 30 percent chance of rain remained in the forecast each day through Monday night.

Flood warnings were in effect Thursday for the White River at Georgetown, Clarendon, Augusta and Patterson; the Black River at Black Rock; the Arkansas River at Morrilton and Toad Suck Lock and Dam; and Pine Bluff; and the Ouachita River at Camden and Thatcher Lock and Dam.

Kevin Lawson, an extension corn verification coordinator for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, said that the Arkansas “River Valley is taking on the chin due to the heavy rains in soybeans, corn and wheat.”

Lawson, who also lives in Perry County, tweeted about how deep the water was at his home, saying “How do you know your road is flooded? When fish become road kill.” The tweet included a couple of photos of a sizeable carp cruising the grassy margin on the side of the road.

On Monday, Hot Spring County Extension Agent David Stritzinger took a photo of cattle stranded on an island of grass -- the herd cut off by the rising Ouachita River.

“About 10 people helped swim them across and hauled about 50 head to higher ground,” he said on Thursday. “Another producer is still looking for about 20 lost cattle from the river.” 

Near the Texas-Arkansas border, Miller County Extension Agent Jennifer Caraway drove the county see how crops were faring.

“On the Texas side there have been farmers moving cattle to higher ground but we haven't heard of anyone doing so yet on the Arkansas side,” she said Thursday. “Although it rained all day Wednesday, which had us a little nervous, it was only a slow rain that never picked up. Probably just around a half-inch or so.

“It was supposed to rain again (Thursday and Friday) but so far nothing, which has eased the stress of the flooding becoming a concern,” Caraway said. “The National Weather Service is estimating the Red River to crest at around 21.9 with action starting at around 25 so as of now, it looks as if Miller County may avoid severe flooding.”

Caraway said fields were saturated, but corn and beans still looked good and the wheat was starting to turn golden. 

In Little River County, some bean corn and wheat fields have been submerged for two to three days, said Joe Paul Stuart, county extension staff chair. He said the Red River was to crest Thursday morning, but more rain was in the forecast.

For more information contact your county extension office or visit

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Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
(501) 671-2126

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