UACES Facebook Extension agents: Lighter-than-expected rain more help than harm

Extension agents: Lighter-than-expected rain more help than harm

July 18, 2014

Fast Facts:

  • Lighter than expected rain a benefit in areas not affected by June floods
  • Cattle producers happy with continued forage growth
  • Storm brings record low temps, record rainfall in SW Arkansas

(478 words)

LONOKE, Ark. -- Rainfall Thursday night into Friday was lighter than predicted in some areas, making cattle producers happy and allowing flooded fields more time to drain, said extension agents for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.

“We dodged a bullet with the rain. It’s not very often anyone says that about a July rain,” said Keith Perkins, Lonoke County extension agent. “We only received .5 to 1 inch of rain in our county.”

Even with all the water, producers know that August in Arkansas is typically toast dry.

“With this rain most of the corn crop will only need one or two more irrigations to finish the season,” he said. “We have a good looking crop going now, but don’t forget we can get hot and dry quickly this time of year be ready to irrigate if needed but be thankful when it is not needed.”  

Perkins said “cattle farmers are loving the rain because this means plenty of grass for grazing and cutting for hay. They may have to dodge showers to get hay up but better than not having any to cut for hay.”

Robin Bridges, Union County extension staff chair, saw another upside, “My peaches will ripen very fast now that they got some rain. We'll take it with a smile.”

Turning the wells off

Not every row crop area has been hit as hard this summer as Monroe, Woodruff and other Delta counties.

Phillips County Extension Agent Robert Goodson said 1.1 inches of rain fell overnight in his area.

“We do have one drain that is backing up due to water received from up north and the White River backing up,” he said. Less than 500 acres are affected, but “overall, rain was beneficial to our area.

“Rain like this will help keep irrigation costs down for some,” Goodson said, adding with a laugh, “It’s messing up my irrigation demo.”

It’s been dry in Desha County too, said County Extension Staff Chair Wes Kirkpatrick.

“We had a good general rainfall in the 2-inch range -- just what we needed,” he said. “We can turn the wells off until the middle of next week and hopefully have a relaxing weekend.”

In Calhoun County, Extension Agent Jaret Rushing said “we really haven't seen much rain here in Calhoun County since the floods in May and early June. This rain is a blessing for our producers.”

Rushing said home gardeners would benefit, however, the rain would keep loggers out of the woods until the soil dries.

Records set

The National Weather Service in Little Rock reported that the storm dropped a record 1.96 inches of rain in Mount Ida, and a daily record also fell at Hot Springs, 1.29 inches. Record low temperatures were set Thursday in North Little Rock, 62 degrees and 60 degrees at Hot Springs. The 63-degree reading at Little Rock Air Force Base tied a record set in 2009. 

For more information on crop production, contact your county extension office, or visit

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability, marital or veteran status, or any other legally protected status, and is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

By Mary Hightower
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
(501) 671-2126

Related Links

  • Arkansas Farm and Ranch