Recent rainfall in Douglas County has helped farmers but is too late to benefit current crops, an agricultural official said.
Lawrence received 0.30 of an inch of rain from a storm that hit town shortly before 7 p.m. Tuesday. Clinton Lake received double that amount, or 0.60 of an inch. Lecompton tripled Lawrence's precipitation with 0.90 of an inch, said Lecompton resident Nancy Pollard.
Worden, in south-central Douglas County, received 0.68 of an inch, said weather observer Walter Schwarz.
For the month, Lawrence has recorded 0.74 of an inch of rain.
Garry Keeler, agricultural agent with the Douglas County Extension Service, said the rains will help pastures get through the winter months.
"It will make for better seed beds for wheat planting," he said.
"The fields were too hard to disc before."
HOWEVER, Keeler added that the moisture would do "very little" for existing corn, milo and bean crops.
"Basically, the crops are too far into the mature stage, so the rain will not help them much," he said.
Keeler said the hot, dry summer weather expedited the corn harvest by about three weeks. He estimated that 50 percent of the county's corn crop has been harvested. The yield, Keeler said, was likely to be half to two-thirds of a normal harvest because of the lack of moisture.
The county's dry weather conditions this summer were fairly consistent with the rest of the state. Despite recent rains, most of the state's topsoil and subsoil still is short of moisture, according to the state's official crop monitoring agency.
Only 15 percent of the state's topsoil and only 11 percent of its subsoil have adequate moisture, and none has surplus moisture, Kansas Agricultural Statistics said Tuesday in its weekly crop and weather report.
THE AGENCY said recent rains brought some relief to drought-stressed corn, sorghum and soybean crops. However, a significant portion of the soybean and sorghum crops is in poor condition, it said.
According to Kansas Agriculture Statistics, a third of the state's topsoil is very short of moisture, while another 52 percent is short. Forty-one percent of the state's subsoil is very short of moisture, and 48 percent is short.
The agency said that in the northern third of the state and east-central Kansas, none of the topsoil has adequate moisture. None of the subsoil in about two-thirds of the state has adequate moisture, it added.
The statistical agency also rated the condition of 47 percent of the state's sorghum crop as poor or very poor and gave the same ratings to half of the soybean crop. A third of the sorghum crop is in fair condition, as is 42 percent of the soybean crop.
``Harvest of sorghum is just getting under way in some central, eastern and southern counties,'' the report said.
The agency said the corn crop is in better shape, with 47 percent considered in good or excellent condition and another 37 percent in fair condition. It also said a quarter of the crop already has been harvested and described the figure as ``good progress.''