Archive for Friday, July 2, 1999

RAIN WREAKS HAVOC ON FARMERS

July 2, 1999

Advertisement

If farmers want to plant and harvest a second crop this summer, they will need to get it in the ground within the next week to 10 days. But will Mother Nature let them?

The recent weather hitting east Kansas farms has been great -- if you're a weed. For farmers, the news is bad.

The wheat crop is largely ruined, and the entire season will be thrown off track if farmers don't get an extended reprieve from rain, DeSoto-Eudora Feed & Grain owner Jim Carpenter said. If farmers want to plant and harvest a second crop this summer, they will need to plant it within the next week to 10 days. To do that, they will need dry weather.

The wheat crop looks bad and is only getting worse, said Bill Wood, Douglas County Extension agent.

"With each day that goes by, the yield potential goes down," he said.

Normally, most of the wheat fields would have been cut by now, he said. He estimates that about 10 percent have been cut this year. Likewise, all soybean fields are usually planted by this time. Now, about 70 to 80 percent have been planted. Without dry weather, the remaining fields may not get planted at all, he said.

Some area farmers were able to work Saturday, he said. However, nobody has been able to get into the fields since Sunday's storms.

It will take a few days of sun to dry higher-elevation areas. Lowlands will need four days to a week, he said. Farmers would benefit from the weather predicted by the National Weather Service, he said. It predicts more sun and temperatures in the high 90s early next week.

The rain has caused weeds to grow heavily in wheat fields and has severely damaged hay quality. Soybean fields also have been saturated, Carpenter said.

"Beans don't like to stand in water," he said.

Those crops were hit hard, although all crops suffer with this heavy rain, Wood said.

-- Erik Petersen's phone message number is 832-7144. His e-mail address is epetersen@ljworld.com.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.