One year later, Pocahontas farmers dealing with drought

POCAHONTAS, AR (KAIT) - Adversity has many faces for the farmers of Randolph County.

One year after a devastating flood, they are nearly 2.5" behind on rainfall.

However, on the heels of the warmest March on record, farmers are planting crops 4 to 6 weeks ahead of schedule.

Jeremy Baltz has been farming for nearly a decade and yet has never seen such an early planting season.

"Practically all the corn has been planted in our service area. I would imagine all the milo has, as well. Don't have anything to base it on, but I imagine 80 to 90 percent of the rice crop is already in."

Soil temperatures are in the low 60's, which is most favorable for germination.

"It's very unusual. It's the combination of dry weather and warm weather that allowed for the early planting."

Baltz likens this year's planting season to last April.

"We were off to an accelerated pace last year with a lot of the crop already in the ground before the flood started."

Farmers are watching rice, corn and milo emerge from the same soil that was inundated with floodwater this time last year.

"Several tens of thousands of acres of crop had to be replanted. The rain started in late April. There was still a lot of cropland that we serviced that was still under water the first day of June."

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