Farmers persist past rainy weather
by Elisabetta Zengaro
Jul 08, 2014 | 2178 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
This is farming season and it is nearly impossible to get on the highway without seeing some type of farming equipment on the road. A tractor driver drove along Miss. Highway 8 attempts to enter a soybean field near Ruleville.
This is farming season and it is nearly impossible to get on the highway without seeing some type of farming equipment on the road. A tractor driver drove along Miss. Highway 8 attempts to enter a soybean field near Ruleville.
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“Rain, rain go away,” was the familiar tune most farmers had on their mind.

The persistent rain across the Delta has taken its toll on local agriculture.

“The rain put us behind at first,” said Craig Hankins, extension agent at the Bolivar County Extension Office. “Growth wise, we are behind but it will all work out.”

According to the Mississippi Crop Progress and Condition Report for the week ending of June 29, rain was widespread throughout the state with most locations receiving 1 to 3 inches.

In fact, Cleveland had a total of six rain days during that week, according to the Crop Progress Report. Some cities across the state received as many as seven rain days.

According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service in Mississippi, there were 3.1 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending June 29.

Also for the week ending June 29, topsoil moisture supplies were 0 percent very short, 7 percent short, 60 percent adequate, and 33 percent surplus, while subsoil moisture supplies were 1 percent very short, 6 percent short, 66 percent adequate, and 27 percent surplus, according to the Crop Progress Report.

Because of the rain, some of the crops had to be replanted or planted late because fields were flooded, said Hankins.

Two main crops that were affected were soybeans and corn.

Hankins said corn was replanted at first but now soybean crops are being replanted.

Hankins added the winter weather was not that big of an issue to crops because production was already behind from all the rain.

However, Hankins said wheat crops were affected by the cold.

There was a small silver lining, though. Because of the abundance of rainfall, Hankins said, farmers haven’t had to irrigate the fields.

“Every year is different,” said Hankins. “Sometimes it’s the cold. This year we had a lot of rain. We just have to do what we can to overcome the challenges.”