A University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture weed scientist is asking farmers to do a little research until fields are dry enough to harvest.

“While it’s too wet to get in the fields, I’d like to see producers make written notes about special weed problems in the fields,” said Ken Smith, professor and Extension weed scientist. “This information will be useful to them later on when they start making decisions about what to plant and what weed control programs should be initiated in each field.”

He’s asking producers to record:

•Types of weeds

•Location of weeds — which fields

•What herbicides were used and what worked and what did not.

The written notes are important because once harvest does start “it’ll all be erased in the field,” Smith said. Additionally, the producer may not be in the field riding the combine or picker and won’t be noting those field issues.

“Once the marketing, field prep, holidays and financing issues are worked out, we might forget what problems were in the field the previous year,” he said. “The notes will be an important reminder not to get into the same situation next year.”

Harvest of most crops in Arkansas came to a standstill the week ending Sept. 20, as up to 10 inches of rain poured into areas of the state. Cotton was running late on maturing because much of it was planted late due to spring rain.

According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Arkansas growers planted 520,000 acres of cotton this year, down from 620,000 last year. The 2008 crop was valued at nearly $349 million dollars.