Farmers receive 'million dollar rain,' eye summer drought potential

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - The early morning showers could not have come any sooner, making a large impression on the yearly rainfall deficit.

Allen Davis with the Greene County Extension Agency says they could have used the rain 2 weeks ago, but it's better late than never.

Farmers have been battling 90-degree heat and strong southerly wind for the last 4 weeks.

"We lose our moisture very quickly when we start working ground, and we have that wind and that kind of temperature, we'll dry out real fast."

Farmers worked up some fields and then left them idle, waiting for the sky to open.

"It can turn right around. This one rain will not last very long, as dry as it was."

The northern half of Greene County received between three and four inches, prompting flash flood warnings.

Davis says too much rain in a short amount of time is counter-productive to would-be planters.

"Water just can't get off the fields and out of the ditches, then you're going to have flooding and other problems."

Once the land dries out, farmers should be able to continue planting soybeans and cotton well ahead of schedule.

Since Region 8 has picked up less than 1 foot of rainfall since January, Davis says a shortage of rain is not what we need heading into the dry summer months.

"The cost of production is going to be extremely high this year. The fuel cost, seed cost, fertilize cost. So we just hope they have a good, productive summer to where they can pay out."

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