Wet weather bad for crops

Published 10:06 pm Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Local farmers are anxiously eyeing their fields following a long period of wet days that may have damaged some of the crops.

“It’s been stressful a little bit, because of all the wet, cloudy weather,” said Shelley Barlow, who farms in the Chuckatuck area. “But hopefully it’s going to be OK.”

Barlow said the corn looks pretty good, but cotton is another story.

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“The cotton looks pretty good in some places but not so good in other places,” she said. “I’ve heard there’s a fair amount of replanting going on, which is the worst.”

Replanting happens when the first plants don’t come up at all, and the farmer digs them up and starts over, Barlow said.

“May and June are really stressful, because there’s so much to do, and with all the rain we had, we spent so many days just waiting,” Barlow said. “We still have fields that are a little bit too wet to get on. That’s probably been the story across the whole area. It makes it hard to get all the work done on time.”

The Barlows will complete their planting of soybeans this weekend, Barlow said. They grow some soybeans that are livestock-feed grade and others that are for human consumption, which get exported to Japan and Korea.

“It’s a good alternative crop for us, if we get a good yield,” Barlow said.

On David Bosselman’s land, cotton and corn both are suffering from the wet weather, he said.

“Some of it’s going to be late,” Bosselman said of the cotton crop. “Some of the cotton got drowned out.

“The corn came up great and had a great start,” he continued. “Then all this wet weather got in there and saturated and smothered the plant, just about. The roots couldn’t breathe. There was too much water standing on it.”

Bosselman said the corn might make a recovery if it gets enough warm weather.

“It’s got to come back,” he said. “How much it damaged it, I don’t know. We’re trying to put nitrogen on it right now to keep it going.”

Bosselman said he’s also concerned about the effect of the wet weather on the wheat crop.

“The wheat is just starting to dry down good,” he said. “If (wet weather) happens again next week, it could be in trouble.”

On the other hand, Bosselman said, peanuts are in good shape right now.

“They’re a little behind, some of them,” he said. “I think the peanuts overall are in good shape right now.”

Bosselman echoed Barlow’s wish for good weather.

“If we could just spread this rain out a little bit, instead of getting a monsoon all at one time — hopefully, it’s going to straighten out,” he said. “That’s what we need, some warm weather and a few showers, not these big deluges we’re getting.”