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

    U.S. Energy: Gasoline Prices Move with Brent Prices, Not WTI Prices12-26

    Gasoline Prices: Drop Another 15 Cents12-26

    Propane Stocks: Decrease by 0.5M Barrels12-26

    Diesel Prices: Average Drops 14 Cents12-26

    Keith Good: Grain Exports from Russia Grind to Halt, Reports Say12-26

    Keith Good: Embattled Railroads Get Thumbs Up; Hog Numbers on Rise12-24

    AFB Rice Close: Futures Slightly Higher12-23

    DTN Fertilizer Trends: Urea Price Shows Some Weakening12-23

    Keith Good: China Approval of GMO Corn Greeted with Cautious Optimism12-23

    AFB Rice Close: Futures Move Lower12-22

    Farm Shops: Small Size Can Still Tackle Big Work Orders – DTN12-22

    Louisiana Rice: 6 Producer Meetings Slated for January, February12-22

    Keith Good: Iowa Farmland Values Drop, but Leveling Off Expected12-22

    Missouri: Crop Budgets For Southeast Counties12-20

    Mississippi Crop Values to Top $7B for 3rd Straight Year12-19

    AFB Rice Close: Strong Gains to End the Week12-19

    Louisiana: Rice School Slated Jan. 9 at Abbeville12-19

    Keith Good: New Cuba Policy Could Open Huge Market for U.S. Wheat12-19

    AFB Rice Close: Mixed as Consolidation Continues12-18

    Keith Good: Viptera Corn Ban Lifted by China; Wheat Prices Soaring12-18

    AFB Rice Close: Higher in Narrow Range12-17

    Senate Passes Tax Extenders Bill with Key Provisions for Ag — DTN12-17

    Keith Good: EPA Moving Ahead with Plans to Finalize Clean Water Rule12-17

    Keith Good: Ag Industry Preparing to Launch New Biotech Seeds12-16

    Cash Rent Rates Key to Cropland Prices 2015 – DTN12-15

    AFB Rice Close: Higher but Within Friday’s Range12-15