Recent rain slows farmers

By Justin Logan - bio | email feedback

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Last year the summer was extremely wet making it very difficult for farmers to get any work done. This summer was a much different story with record setting heat and much drier conditions.

Joe Christian, a Craighead County farmer said the rain on Tuesday did indeed help the crops some. But at the same time it hurt farmers because it turned the fields into mud right during the middle of harvest.

Christian said, "When the ground gets muddy that means it's hard on the equipment, it's harder on you. It's harder on everything."

The struggle isn't over yet because the recent rains have halted his rice harvest.

"Today (Wednesday) we can't cut, we couldn't cut yesterday afternoon because of the rain and it don't look like we're going to be able to cut for the next two or three days," said Christian.

While the harvest is on pause now, this summer's dry condition helped him and many others get a head start on the harvest.

"Sometimes we cut a little bit in August, but most of the time Labor Day we get kicked off. Well I've been cutting for two or three weeks now and got over half done with my rice crop," said Christian.

Once the rain comes to an end, it shouldn't take long before Christian and many others can get back in the fields.

Christian said, "If it's sunshine and wind you could go back the next day, but rice dries out pretty good. This is not like soybeans or any other product, it will dry out faster."

Since last year was wet and this year was hot and dry, the quality of the rice crop is one question many want to know.

"The yields are down on the rice, but they're not down really bad. Not as bad as what I expected. Overall I think it's going to be an ok year," said Christian.

He said last year's yields were better than this year. Like many, he hopes the rains will stop soon.

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