“Time to shut the water off,” say area farmers
Deluges of rain on area fields the past few days have dumped between four and five inches in some local areas says Jeff Lehman from Lehman Feed Mill.
Lehman said that the gauge at the mill had recorded over 4.5 inches of rain in the last week and right at 7.5 inches for the month of June so far. The monthly amount is nearly twice the average total of 4.2 inches for the month.
Still, Lehman assessed the local crop as “looking good,” and if rains stop for a few days to allow warm sunshine to take over, any deficiencies caused by the heavy rain could probably be overcome.
One of the most delicate crops this spring, so far, has been the soybeans. At first, soybeans had a tough time getting going, said Lehman. They needed warm and rain.
“They were a little yellow and needed some good rain to get them going,” said Lehman. “For a while early last week, they appeared to rejuvenate. But then the heavy rains came and they started looking a little yellow again from all of the rain. I believe they will be fine if we get a few days of sunshine.”
Corn has shot up at an amazing speed with the recent heat, humidity and rain.
“A lot of it now is at least shoulder high and maybe even higher,” said Lehman. “In some places, it’s a little uneven, but I think we’ve got a pretty good crop out there right now. It might not be bumper, but it’s looking pretty good.”
Lehman said there has been a little question about the corn’s root system with all of the rain.
“I think that most of the corn, especially earlier corn, got rooted down pretty good,” said Lehman. “We will have to wait to see what is happening with some of the later corn, pending the rains.”
Lehman also assessed the wheat crop as, “looking pretty good,” but running a little behind. He said that one problem could be those fields where parts of the field have been flattened by beating rain and wind. He noted that some of it might have a difficult time standing back up at this stage of the game. Lehman estimated that wheat harvest should start around July 4.
Hay, too, has been slowed down some, especially in attempting to make a second cutting.
“Some guys are trying to get in their second cutting, but again we need a few days of drying to really get into it,” said Lehman.
One of the keys to field stands across the county presently is the variability of the rain amounts. While most areas have had an abundance of rain the past few days, it has been spotty enough that some areas have received an inch or less.
“I think everyone is really in good shape overall,” said Lehman. “Most of the side dressing has been applied. I have confidence that we are going to have a good crop this year.”
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