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By Ryan McGeeney U of A System Division of AgricultureSept. 26, 2019
(415 words) (Download this story in MS Word format here.)
JONESBORO, Ark. — Heavy wind and rain that blew across much of northeastern Arkansas
and surrounding areas Wednesday night and Thursday morning will likely impact both
rice and cotton harvests, as growers try to make the most of otherwise favorable conditions.
The National Weather Service reported Thursday morning that more than half a dozen
counties in the northeast corner of the state had received between 1-4 inches of rain
as of 8 a.m. Thursday, with as much as 5 inches concentrated in central Jackson County.
Heavier rainfall averages, spanning 3-6 inches, were also recorded in northwestern
counties, where the agriculture is primarily dominated by cattle, poultry and the
grazing acreage needed to support ranching.
Branon Thiesse, staff chair for the Craighead County Cooperative Extension Service
office in Jonesboro, said the western half of his county received about 2 inches of
rain Wednesday night.
“The system that went through last night had some pretty significant winds,” Thiesse
said Thursday morning. “There’s not a whole lot of rice left — they’ve gotten the
bulk of it out. But the fields that are left, they could see some lodging.”
Thiesse said he was more concerned about cotton in his county, however, most of which
remains to be harvested.
“Heavy wind and rain will pull the lint right out of the bolls if this continues,”
he said. “We’re right on the front end of harvest, so we don’t need any more of this
stuff — it needs to get out of here, so we can get to pickin’.”
Jarrod Hardke, rice agronomist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture,
said damage to unharvested rice acres was visible as he toured areas in northern Arkansas
throughout the day Thursday.
“Wind and rain did a number on remaining rice in the field,” he said. “Fields ready
for harvest have anywhere from small patches to large swaths of downed rice. This
will definitely slow down harvest in these fields and increase wear and tear on combines.”
Jeffrey Works, agricultural agent for the Poinsett Cooperative Extension office, said
Wednesday night’s rain broke a nearly month-long dry streak for the county, during
which growers have done much to reclaim the calendar from nearly a year of ongoing,
“These farmers have been going at it non-stop, cutting,” Works said. “It’s a lot different
than last year, for sure.”
To learn more about agriculture in Arkansas, contact your local Cooperative Extension
Service agent or visit www.uaex.uada.edu. Follow the Cooperative Extension Service on Twitter at @uaex_edu.
About the Division of Agriculture
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen
agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption
of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative
Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work
within the nation’s historic land grant education system.
The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas
System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension
and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex,
gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital
or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and
is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
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Media Contact: Ryan McGeeneyCommunication ServicesU of A System Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service(501) firstname.lastname@example.org