Weekend rain provided some relief for Arkansas, but producers could still use more to ensure germination and recharge their reservoirs.
However, farmers wanting more water may get their wish. The National Weather Service forecast indicated more rain Monday night and early Tuesday, with some of the storms expected to be severe, especially across south Arkansas, where the state has been driest. Some storms could produce hail up to an inch in diameter, the weather service said in Monday’s hazardous weather outlook.
Storms that marched across the state Sunday night produced pea- to penny-sized hail, the National Weather Service at North Little Rock said adding, “rainfall amounts were generally less than a quarter of an inch, with locally high amounts.”
The small hail didn’t do any damage, Extension agents for the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture said Monday. The rain did help a little.
“We did get a shower yesterday that is helping temporarily for corn to get moisture for germination,” Don Plunkett, Jefferson County Extension staff chair, said Monday. “A farmer today said that some of his neighbors had been planting ‘in the dry’ and they needed this rain for germinating the corn.
“What rain we’ve gotten to this point will not give recharge to reservoirs, lakes, ponds.
“We have just begun the optimum planting window for corn and for rice. When the fields dry after this rain event it will be ‘can to can’t’ or ‘sun-up to sun-down’ for producers who will be planting corn and rice.”
In Prairie County, east of Little Rock, Sunday evening’s storms dropped from .8 to 1.2 inches, said county staff chairman Brent Griffin. Ground that had been tilled “soaked up the rain with some standing water on non-tilled soil.”
In northeastern Arkansas, Andy Vangilder, Clay County Extension staff chair, said: “Wereceived another couple of inches of rain and some areas received quite a bit of hail but no damage reported this Saturday.”
Between Friday and Monday, six counties dropped burn bans, but bans were still in effect on Monday for Ashley, Baxter, Conway, Dallas, Garland, Lincoln, Madison, Marion, Newton, Polk, Stone and Van Buren counties, according to the Arkansas Forestry Commission.
Most of the significant rain went north of the driest counties near over the weekend.
On Monday, Chad Norton, Lincoln County Extension staff chair, said he saw some rain, but “not enough at my house to matter.”
For more information on crop, timber and livestock production, contact your county Extension office or visit www.uaex.edu.