Advertisement

Archive for Thursday, June 11, 1992

RAINFALL A BOON TO FARMERS, BUT SUNSHINE IN SHORT SUPPLY

June 11, 1992

Advertisement

Recent heavy rains closed 15th Street east of Noria Road, heading toward Eudora, for a while today but several area farmers say the precipitation has been a welcome sight.

Larry Schaake, who farms east of Lawrence, said late this morning that the water had receded and the road was passable.

Sheriff Loren Anderson said the sign, put up by Wakarusa Township, was expected to be removed this afternoon.

Karen Pendleton, an owner of Pendleton's Kaw Valley Asparagus, located just off 15th Street east of Lawrence, said water on the road was about six inches deep. "Whenever we get an inch or more of rain, it washes over," she said. "It's a fairly common occurence."

The road closure would have been a catastrophe during asparagus season, but the Pendletons closed their market on Memorial Day and now sell produce at the Lawrence Farmers Market, she said.

In fact, to them, the rain came as a relief.

"Most of our land is fairly sandy and it's been waiting for some rain," Pendleton said, adding that overcast skies and cool temperatures have slowed the development of some plants.

"THE CLOUDY weather has kept tomatoes from ripening quickly," said Pendleton. "And I have lots of flowers that look good, but they need sun to get blooming."

The weather forecast looks dry through Friday evening, but according to the National Weather Service there is a chance of storms over the weekend.

Workers at the Roger Pine farm north of Lawrence have welcomed the rain, but now are hoping for clear skies. Phil Schlaman, who helps farm the 280 acres of potatoes, said about two inches of rain have drenched the area.

"We haven't had enough rain to make too much difference, but we'll get nervous if it continues," he said. "Up to now, it's been a lack of rain that's been our concern. We've been glad to get it, but if it wants to quit now, that'll be fine."

Schlaman said potato harvest will get started around July 4.

"The next month is real critical," he said. "The cool weather is better for us than hot weather."

CLARA EISELE, whose husband, Byron, farms about 200 acres of wheat six miles south of Eudora, said they haven't received the downpour that hit farms north and west of them.

"It's getting pretty dry," she said. "And I hear we need some high heat to get rid of the worms."

Lawrence-area farmers, as well as grain producers across the state, have battled armyworms and other pests that thrive in cool weather.

Along with a freeze in western Kansas, drought conditions in April and plant diseases, the worms have contributed to a decrease in the estimated 1992 wheat crop harvest by 4.7 percent.

Kansas Agricultural Statistics now predicts that farmers will harvest 348.8 million bushels of wheat. The agency's estimate in May was 366.3 million bushels. It released figures Wednesday based on June 1 conditions.

The new estimates include a 24 percent decrease in projected harvest figures for northwest and west-central Kansas.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.