Isaac gives drought-stricken farmers brief respite

Sep 3, 2012, 9:46 PM

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – Several days of rain have given farmers in the nation’s midsection a welcome break from irrigating and hauling water for livestock as they contend with the worst drought in the U.S. in decades.

The remnants of Hurricane Isaac dropped several inches of rain on wide areas of Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana and Missouri as the storm trudged north. Some spots got more than a half-foot of rain.

For most farmers, the rain came too late to make a difference in their year. Corn farmers have been harvesting for weeks, and soybeans are far enough along that the rain won’t significantly improve their quality or growth.

Some farmers had rushed to bring in crops before the storm, fearing strong winds or even flash flooding could destroy what they had managed to salvage from drought.

In Arkansas, where farmers have been struggling with triple-digit temperatures and little rain, Robby Bevis, 35, saw the storm knock down several of his 150 acres of rice.

“I hate to see any of it down, but that’s not as bad of percentage as what it could have been,” he said.

The 3 inches of rain that fell on Bevis’s fields between Scott and Lonoke also cut him a welcome break from watering his soybeans. He had been planning to irrigate before the remnants of Isaac sloshed through the region late last week.

He figured the rain might have saved him $10 or $15 an acre, although “the majority of the expense was throughout the summer.”

In Illinois, Kenneth Metcalf said the storm put some water back in his well, relieving him of the burden of having to buy and haul in hundreds of gallons of water each day for his 160 head of cattle.

But Metcalf, 75, said he doubts the break will last long as the storm’s last clouds burn off and higher temperatures return, baking the area east of Springfield where he also grows corn and soybeans.

“I think we’ll be hauling water here again in a few days,” he said.

Still, it lifted his spirits to see so much rain, 4 or 5 inches by his estimation.

“I think everybody feels better,” he said, noting the rain was a start toward replenishing lakes and wells.

Farther south, Mike Campbell said he got 3 inches of rain on his farm in Edwardsville, Ill., which is about 30 miles from St. Louis. He said it was too late for it to do anything for his corn, and he had worried the storm’s winds would destroy what little he had left. But the stalks were still standing Monday morning.

“I was actually surprised at that because the stalk quality is just terrible,” said Campbell, who has been farming for 35 years.

Still, the thin, dry stalks have left him little to harvest. During one run with his combine last week, he was getting about 30 bushels an acre, far short of the 150 bushels he would hope for in a normal year.

“It sounded like the combine was shut off. There was just so little stuff going through it,” he said. “It’s the worst I’ve ever seen.”

___

Keyser reported from Chicago.

___

Follow Jeannie Nuss at
http://twitter.com/jeannienuss

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

United States News

FILE - Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., who is running for reelection, speaks about prescriptio...
Associated Press

Both candidates courting veterans in Nevada Senate race

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Common sense more than any campaign strategy dictated that Adam Laxalt not trumpet his own military service in Nevada’s sometimes-heated Republican Senate primary. After all, the ex-attorney general, who served as a Navy judge advocate general in Iraq, was running against retired Army Capt. Sam Brown, a war hero who was […]
23 hours ago
Elaine Moore stands next to a dry irrigation canal and almond orchard near her property, where two ...
Associated Press

California wells run dry as drought depletes groundwater

FAIRMEAD, Calif. (AP) — As California’s drought deepens, Elaine Moore’s family is running out of an increasingly precious resource: water. The Central Valley almond growers had two wells go dry this summer. Two of her adult children are now getting water from a new well the family drilled after the old one went dry last […]
23 hours ago
A protester is hit by Los Angeles Rams defensive end Takkarist McKinley (50) and linebacker Bobby W...
Associated Press

Rams LB Bobby Wagner flattens protestor who gets on field

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Bobby Wagner delivered one of the biggest hits on a person who got onto the field. The Rams linebacker flattened the protestor who ran on the field with a device emitting pink smoke late in the second quarter of Los Angeles’ game against the San Francisco 49ers on Monday night. […]
23 hours ago
The steeple lays on its side atop Southwest Baptist Church in Fort Myers, Fla., on Sunday, Oct. 2, ...
Associated Press

Hurricane Ian shakes SW Florida’s faith but can’t destroy it

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — In darkness and despair, there were flickers of light and hope, even for Jane Compton who lost her home and possessions to Hurricane Ian’s wrath. As the storm approached last week, she and her husband found sanctuary at their Baptist church, huddling with fellow parishioners through wind, rain and worry. […]
23 hours ago
Alice Pujols goes through someone else's discarded items for clothes and shoes for her family Monda...
Associated Press

In Ian’s wake, Florida residents brave a slow wait for power

BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. (AP) — Nearly a week after Hurricane Ian smashed into Florida and carved a path of destruction that reached into the Carolinas, more than half a million statewide residents faced another day without electricity Tuesday as rescuers continued their search for those trapped inside homes inundated with lingering floodwaters. At least 78 […]
23 hours ago
FILE - Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., speaks during a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee, on...
Associated Press

Kelly, Hobbs face different prospects in crucial Ariz. races

PHOENIX (AP) — A year ago, Arizona’s Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs was all over cable news, building a national profile as a defender of democracy and raking in cash for her campaign for governor. Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly, newly elected to finish the late John McCain’s last term and running for reelection, looked […]
23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Why your student-athlete’s physical should be conducted by a sports medicine specialist

Dr. Anastasi from Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Tempe answers some of the most common questions.
...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
Isaac gives drought-stricken farmers brief respite