Archive for Wednesday, September 3, 2003

Weekend rain too much, too late

September 3, 2003

Unfortunately for Baldwin area farmers, the eight inches of rain that fell over the weekend was too much and it was way too late.

"That's exactly it," said Bill Wood, Douglas County agriculture agent. "It poured on us and it's not very helpful."

Farmers were just into an early harvest last week with variable corn yields being reported from 20-30 bushels to the acre to as high as 80-100 bushels. But, the steady two-day rain that filled rain gauges to overflowing didn't do any good for the corn.

"Those stalks are just dead dry," said Wood. "With this rain, it's making the ears heavy. If there's any sort of wind, the corn is just going to be flattened."

There's not much farmers can do, either. The fields are way too wet to run the combine through. It's just a matter of letting them dry out before restarting harvest -- if there's anything to harvest.

"I really feel for these guys," he said.

While the majority of the soybean crop had already been lost, Wood is afraid the rain may kick some of it back into growing. That will cancel out any possible insurance adjustments.

"This is a little bit aggravating," said Wood. "Some of our beans that were green will probably get some pods to grow. That means the insurance adjuster will say harvest it, which may mean 10 bushels to the acre, instead of the zero it was going to be before."

But, it wasn't all bad news from the much-needed rain.

"The best part of the rain is to our grasslands and I think maybe the farmers will be able to quit feeding their cattle hay," he said. "Six inches of rain will get that going again and it will help anyone who's planting wheat or starting brome or alfalfa."

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