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Recent rains provide mixed blessings

Corn planting nearly finished. Cotton growers accelerate planting pace. Soybean plantings progress slowly.  

For some Arkansas growers, rain is still a four-letter word

Much of Arkansas received a quarter of an inch of rain or more between Friday and Monday, with some spots receiving up to 6 to 8 inches, according to maps from National Weather Service.

“Between Friday evening and Monday morning, we did receive at least 4 inches of rain,” said Herb Ginn, Lawrence County Extension staff chair for the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, adding that another half-inch fell with a storm Monday afternoon. “A little rain would have been okay, but 4 inches was way too much. 

“Many fields have standing water on them and farmers are trying to get the water off the fields. Needless to say, field operations have again come to a halt.  The remainder of the week looks very wet which will further prevent planting.”

In Prairie County, still recovering from the White River‘s rampage, the rain was a blessing.

“Since Friday, rainfall amounts range from 1.5 to 3 inches,” said Brent Griffin, Prairie County Extension staff chair. “Overall, it was a good general rain, with damage limited to a few limbs blown off.

“Rainfall and warm temperatures really helped to get the corn and rice back growing. Soybean planting will begin in earnest along with pre-flood nitrogen being applied to rice when soil dries. Not too many washed out rice levees this time.”

Still, growers made progress in planting for the week that ended Sunday, according to the report issued Monday by the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Soybeans were still crawling, with 39 percent planted, up from 32 percent the previous week. Last year, 54 percent had been planted at the same time. Winter wheat harvest began with 2 percent of the crop harvested.

In other crops:

  • Corn -- 99 percent planted, compared with 94 percent last week.
  • Cotton -- 80 percent planted, compared with 47 percent last week.
  • Rice – 84 percent planted, up from 63 percent last week.
  • Sorghum – 89 percent planted, up from 74 percent last week.

For more information about crop production and agricultural economics, contact your county Extension office or visit

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