Heavy rains in Arkansas Sunday submerged some crop fields entirely, and most fields were flooded at their low ends, reports Andy Vangilder, Clay County Extension staff chair for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture
“A lot of our rice levees were washed down and will have to be built back up when the land dries,” he said Monday. For those parts of fields underwater, “if the water gets off soon, we may possibly not lose too much crop.”
The deadly storm system that surged across the state Sunday (April 27) brought up to 7 inches of rain in some places and revived images of past flooding when rivers across the Arkansas Delta rose from their banks claiming homes, businesses and roads. Fourteen people died in Sunday night’s storms.
Having local rivers recede may take some time, because some of the water is still draining south from Missouri.
Frequent rain and the cool temperatures this spring have frustrated Arkansas farmers trying to plant crops.
Before Sunday’s rain, “we were just starting to get in good shape,” Vangilder said.
In Lee County, Ark., Extension Staff Chair Stan Baker said some spots received more than 4 inches of rain Sunday night and more than 6 inches since Thursday (April 24) night. However, in general, the county’s farms looked to be in pretty good shape.
“With all the rain, there are some fields under water, and a replant may be necessary, but most of these fields had not been planted yet,” he said Monday. “There were a lot of acres planted in the county the past two weeks. The rain was needed in many of the fields because the soil had crusted, and the rain softened it to make plant emergence easier.”