Archive for Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Recent rainfall benefis soybean, corn crops

July 3, 2007

Last week's string of wet weather suited Tonganoxie farmer Bob Kissinger just fine.

Kissinger, whose crop this summer consists totally of soybeans, said the precipitation came at an ideal time -- as the sometimes arid Kansas summer was beginning.

"The rain so far has come about right for corn, milo and beans," Kissinger said, noting that brome might have been the only crop to be hindered by the precipitation.

Last week's steady rain was a welcome sign, according to Kissinger.

"Normally you don't get a rain like we did this time of year," he said.

The area was fortunate to receive the steady rain, unlike areas south of Tonganoxie. Ottawa, in Franklin County, and Osawatomie, in Miami County, experienced heavy flooding. The Kansas National Guard was deployed to Osawatomie to help with a mandatory evacuation for parts of that community Sunday. Southeast Kansas and southwest Missouri also were hit with massive flooding during the weekend.

Michael Epler, Kansas State University Research and Extension agent for Leavenworth County, said the northeast part of the state has been fortunate to receive steady rain.

"The rains have been timed really well here in Leavenworth County," Epler said.

Crops such as soybeans and corn appear to be in good shape this summer, at least in this area of the state.

"I think the soil has a good water reserve and the beans should be able to grow for a while without great amounts for rain," Epler said. "If it keeps up it could be a really good year up here."

Wheat, meanwhile, is another story, according to Epler. Wheat needs to be harvested, and to accomplish that, farmers must have some dry weather.

"They just need more days like today," Epler said. "They just need some sun and some wind, and they'll be right back in the fields."

Although a late spring frost wreaked havoc on some vegetation, most notably fruit trees, Kissinger said he was able to plant soybeans the first week of May.

Last year, he wasn't able to plant until May 19 because the ground was so dry.

"Right now it looks pretty promising," Kissinger said about this year's crops.

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