Early spring dry spell concerns local farmers, residents

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - In the midst of what is supposed to be the rainy season, we've endured the driest April in over a decade.

The planting season began 6 weeks ago, but the monthly rainfall deficit has swelled to more than 3 inches.

Charlie Tosh has been maintaining sprinkler systems across Jonesboro, and he noticed some plants and yards are developing dead patches.

"Everything kicked off about six weeks early this year as far as weather. We're running about four inches below right now and it's really taking a toll on new plantings and lawns right now."

Rain gauges remain empty as storm clouds roll past.

Even local farmers like Hunter Burris say they'll need more than a sprinkle to get their crops to sprout.

"Three-quarters to an inch once a week would be ideal. Slow. Nothing fast, nothing hard where it would all run off. Just slow, where it would soak in."

There is one thing growing--concern expressed by Tosh and other landscape professionals that the lack of rain during this wet season could eventually put a strain on the local aquifers.

"You know, that's something we have to consider is our water table and where it's at."

However, Marvin Day with Jonesboro CWL says the winter rains were enough to replenish them.

"Water tables don't change very much and they really don't change very quickly either. It would take a very prolonged period of time to have an effect on the water table."

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