August 14, 2013 Edition

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LawCo. experiencing wet weather

Vivian Heyl
Staff Writer

Rain has dominated the forecast for Lawrence County over the last two weeks as the county has experienced one of the wettest Augusts in recent history. The average August rainfall for the county is 2.9 inches, which was exceeded during the first week this year. By comparison, during the first two weeks of August in 2012 Lawrence County received three-hundredths of an inch of rain.

A stationary front has remained over Northern Arkansas for the past 10 days bringing heavy rains and moderate flooding to the area. The National Weather Service reported rainfall totals of six to 10 inches from Aug. 3 through the early morning hours of Aug. 13.

On Tuesday morning Black River had risen to 18.92 inches with an expected crest of 19.5 feet by tonight. The front is expected to push out of the area by this evening bringing cool, dryer conditions to the county for the next several days.

Crops

Young soybean crops are showing signs of distress from flooded fields, Agri Extension Agent Herb Ginn said. Ginn, who spent much of Tuesday monitoring fields in Lawrence County, said he is seeing yellowing on plants that are standing in water.

"The rain and lower temperatures are taking a toll on all the crops, but young soybeans have been hit the hardest," Ginn said.

The cooler weather has also slowed rice growth. "What we need is a good dry spell and some warm weather to dry out the fields."

Peanuts have also taken a hit. Ginn said he saw peanuts standing in water during his morning rounds. "They just don't like this much water," he said.

Roger Tinsley who farms at Lauratown said the rain has certainly affected the soybean crops. "There has been so much rain that we are in danger of losing crops. Even the corn is starting to show deterioration."

Dean Davis who farms in the Minturn area agreed. "On one hand we are saving money by not having to pump water into the rice fields, but on the other too much rain is devastating crops in low lying areas," he said.

"We have already lost several acres of soybeans in the Cache River area along Highway 230."

Both Tinsley and Davis agree that if the weather cooperates most crops will recover.

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