Severe drought hits parts of Region 8

By Justin Logan - bio | email feedback

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - It was a long, hot and dry summer and our fall is off to a dry start as well. The lack of rainfall has left much of Region 8 in a drought and the severity differs across the area.

Looking at the map to the right, the counties shaded in red are in a severe drought, which includes the delta area. A moderate drought is shaded in orange and abnormally dry conditions are yellow. Jonesboro is currently more than eight inches below average for yearly rainfall. The lack of rain has turned our lawns brown.

Conner Davis is a Jonesboro resident and said the drought has cut back on the amount of yard work he has to do.

Davis said, "With all the heat we've had this summer we haven't really had to cut the yard too many times. It's really been a dry year for us."

Davis said he likely won't be mowing again before winter unless we get another good rain.

"Probably just going to wait till next year when we get some more rain and then we'll work with it again," said Davis.

Branon Thiesse with the University of Arkansas Extension Service said the current drought not only affects us, but farmers as well.

"The extreme drought conditions, germination of those wheat seed will not happen until we receive an appreciable amount of rain," said Thiesse.

On the other hand the drought is not all bad news for farmers.

"In the short term it's really a benefit because they are able to go ahead and complete the harvest," said Thiesse.

But it doesn't stop there. The benefits of the drier weather now could end up helping with next year's crops.

Thiesse said, "If we don't get any rain in the next 3 or 4 weeks, all the preparation for next year could possibly be done as well."

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