Agfax Buzz:
    July 9, 2013
    irrigation_pivot_over_rice

    Arkansas: Heat and Lack of Rain Causing Concerns of Renewed Drought

    AgFax.Com - Your Online Ag News Source

    By Mary Hightower, University of Arkansas

    Arkansas farmers should be forgiven if they seem a bit nervous as the temperature climbs and the skies are devoid of rain clouds.

    “It is getting downright powdery out there,” Brian See, Marion County extension agent for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, said Tuesday.

    Marion County saw its share of brown pastures due to drought last year and this year’s abundant spring rains helped erase drought’s traces from the U.S. Drought Monitor map in all but southwestern Arkansas. And while this year’s first cutting of hay was a record harvest,  “the lack of rain has delayed the second cutting of bermudagrass hay,” he said.




    “Bermuda grass fields are still green for the most part but are pretty much at a standstill,” he said. “Fescue has all but burned up. Producers at least have hay in the barn should things continue to remain dry.”

    Newton County pastures were also starting to turn brown, said Extension Staff Chair Adam Willis. Lawns and home gardens were starting to crisp up, said Wes Kirkpatrick, Desha County Extension staff chair, who added that a good rain “would lift everyone’s spirits!

    There were slim chances of rain for Wednesday and Thursday, the National Weather Service at Little Rock said, also issuing a special weather statement noting an escalation in wildfire danger. Burn bans were in place in Cleveland, Garland, Johnson, Newton, Pope, Saline and Searcy counties Tuesday afternoon.  Wildfire danger was moderate for all but 16 eastern Arkansas counties where the danger was rated at low.

    Turning on the taps

    In the Delta, growers are turning on the taps.

    “Irrigation is in full swing on all summer crops, even pastures and hay meadows,” said Brent Griffin, Prairie County extension staff chair. “Corn, rice and soybeans are all competing for the same water at this time.”

    Jeremy Ross, extension soybean agronomist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture said: “usually soybean fields are last in line behind these other crops to get irrigated. The lower temperatures last week helped the soybean crop, but we are now back into normal July temperatures. Hopefully we’ll get some rainfall in the next day or two.”

    In Lonoke County, “we have several acres of beans to plant but are waiting on a rain,” said County Agent Keith Perkins. “Some producers are watering the ground to plant but most do not have the extra water to do this practice.

    “Each day we go in July we give up yield on soybeans and we have to look at economics of planting,” he said, with some growers reaching “a point where it is better to leave out the field instead of planting. Each field has to evaluated independently to determine to plant or not.”

    ‘Looking ugly’

    Cotton is at a key stage and needs the water, said Blake McClelland, cotton verification coordinator. “The state’s cotton crop is later than the last couple of years, but this is the time – between full squaring and the first boll opening – when water is the most critical,” he said.

    Van Banks, Monroe County Extension staff chair said: “sorghum is needing a drink as it begins to push up heads. We have received some scattered showers in the last couple of weeks, but in general, we are getting dry.”

    Southeastern Arkansas went from wet to dry in a hurry.

    Gus Wilson, Chicot County extension staff chair said corn has been irrigated six to seven times and soybeans, four to five times already this summer.

    “Those with no water are looking ugly and taking a beating in yield loss right now,” he said. “Every well and relift pump is going and will be until a good rain comes.”


    Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

    Leave a Reply

    Name and Email Address are required fields. Your email will not be published or shared with third parties.

    Agfax Rice News

    AFB Rice Close: Sharply Lower Under Heavy Pressure10-23

    Arkansas Rice: Crown Sheath Rot Unusually Severe in Medium-Grains10-23

    Advances in Farming Technology Continue to Aid Mother Nature — DTN10-23

    U.S. Energy: Crude Exports, Re-Exports Continue to Rise10-23

    Gasoline Prices: Show 9-Cent Decrease10-23

    Propane Stocks: Increase by 0.2M Barrels10-23

    Diesel Prices: Average Drops 4 Cents10-23

    Keith Good: EPA’s Approval of Enlist Duo Herbicide Challenged by Suit10-23

    AFB Rice Close: Futures Mostly Higher10-22

    Arkansas: 2 Counties Designated Natural Disaster Areas10-22

    Don’t Just Piggy-Back on Others’ Prices in Ag Commodity Markets10-22

    Keith Good: APH Yield Exclusion Implementation Draws Praise — Mostly10-22

    Farm Shop Dream Requires Thoughtful Planning – DTN10-21

    Texas Crop Weather: El Niño Stalled Out but Cool, Wet Winter Still Predicted10-21

    USDA to Implement APH Yield Exclusion for 2015 Spring Crops10-21

    Arkansas: USA Rice Outlook Conference Set Dec. 7-9 in Little Rock10-21

    DTN Fertilizer Trends: High Costs May Alter Growers’ Tactics for 201510-21

    Keith Good: Tumbling Grain Prices May Prove Costly for Taxpayers10-21

    AFB Rice Close: Reverses Off Positive Early Trade10-20

    Herbicide Resistant Weed Summit’s Slides, Webcast Available Online10-20

    Rice and Sugar: Thailand’s Quest for World Domination10-20

    Keith Good: Lawsuits Concerning GMO Corn Mount Against Syngenta AG10-20

    AFB Rice Close: Futures Recover from Early Losses10-17

    Keith Good: Bumper Grain Crops Create Harvest, Storage Issues10-17