Area Farmers busy as summer nears

Thursday, June 9, 2016
A farmer tills up one of the few remaining fields in Clay County left to plant North of Rector.

The Clay County area has been plagued with rain over the past month, but crops are not suffering at this point and the sunny weather is right in time for the wheat harvest, said Clay County Extension agent Stewart Runsick.

The rain has caused some farmers to be a little behind applying fertilizers and herbicides needed, but Runsick expects farmers in all areas to be picking up the pace and everything should be back on schedule by the end of the week. "Crops are 99 percent planted with just a few soybeans and possibly a couple fields of rice left," Runsick said.

Cotton was planted early and the last month of cooler, wetter weather has stunted it, Clay County farmer Bret Palmer said. Some was replanted on low ends and low spots. However, with the weather warming up, cotton has begun to take off.

There are still some problem spots around the St. Francis River due to rain. "Some cotton had to be sprayed for thrips, but now it's starting to grow through them in the healthier cotton," Palmer said.

Weed control has been an issue with rain keeping herbicides from being used, but Palmer said where herbicides won't kill the larger weeds "we will begin weeding/hoeing a little earlier."

Rice has been delayed because of flooding, so planes will be flying a lot of fertilizer this week. Local rivers flooded some rice, but no damage has been reported.

The only damage seen in the county has been soybeans planted earlier in the season. "Some have been replanted a couple of times and some are being replanted now, but not a lot," Runsick said. "The few late fields should be done by next week."

Corn is growing well, but has not yet tasseled. "All crops are slow with the cooler, rainy weather and pre-tasseling fertilizers will be going on corn now," he said. "It should be a couple weeks before they tassel."

Irrigation hasn't been needed until now either, but Runsick believes the warm, sunny weather will kick irrigation into full swing as farmers move into a better growing period.

The wheat harvest should be in full swing this week with most fields concentrated in the Pollard and Rector areas. "Acreage is down because of unfavorable prices," Runsick said.

All crops are subject to independent variables and predictions are not definit

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