Arkansas forage producers are more optimistic after rain hit areas of the state earlier this week.

“It was the first significant rain event we have had in over a month for most of the area. Probably a multi-million dollar rain,” said Wes Kirkpatrick, Desha County extension staff chair for the University of Arkansas.

Benton County saw 2” of rain over a five-day period, as well as a drop in temperature, says Robert Seay, its Extension staff chair.

“That has elevated the morale of Benton County forage producers,” he says. “The rain and temperature pattern served to allow a sponging effect of the moisture, rather than run-off, which makes the potential benefit even more valuable. Fertilizing equipment, which has been parked for weeks, is now on the move as producers weigh prospective hopes against the definite demands for hay and pasture production. In situations where hay was already being fed to livestock, that expense will be set aside as pasture re-growth is triggered.”

Producers in Kirkpatrick’s area were buoyed by the rain, too. He estimated rainfall at between 0.75-1.5” in Desha County.
Yet precipitation is still far below average across Arkansas, at 19.43” total so far, compared to the 22.44” that typically falls by this time of year. The forecast shows dry weather through this coming weekend and beyond.
For more on crop production, visit www.uaex.edu, or arkansascrops.com or contact your county extension office.