Local & Regional News
1:08 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Farmers: More Storms May Damage Arkansas Crops

Heavy rain in Arkansas over the last three weeks has improved drought conditions and provided necessary irrigation for crops in dry pastures.

However, agricultural experts are concerned that if thunderstorms continue fields could become oversaturated. Hank Chaney works with the Faulkner County Extension Service.

“I think if you’re a soybean producer you have to pay close attention to the reports that we’re hearing about Asian Soybean Rust, a disease in plants caused by a fungus,” said Chaney. “The kind of weather that we are having right now could also lead to an increase in Sheath Blight and other diseases for rice crops.”

Chaney says row crops in Faulkner County have benefited greatly from recent rain, but other crops could suffer if showers persist.

“Anytime you get this amount of rain in August, you hate to complain. But we’ve got a few fields of soybeans that really don’t need anymore water at this time or they could turn extremely yellow and farmers may even start losing some crop,” Chaney said. “I talked to a grower this morning who said he needs to cut hay really bad but the weather now is such that he needs for it to dry out first.”

Chaney noted that growers are also concerned that a disease called Southern Rust could negatively impact corn and he admits farmers have to be prepared for fall armyworm infestation.