Recent rainfall in NWLA delays corn crop harvesting

Recent rainfall in NWLA delays corn crop harvesting
(Source; Jeff Ferrell/KSLA)
(Source; Jeff Ferrell/KSLA)

CADDO PARISH, LA (KSLA) - While much of the ArkLaTex has been spared the full brunt of the heavy rainfall seen farther south, what we have gotten has created problems of its own. That's especially true for farmers, who are often at the mercy of Mother Nature.

Rainfall earlier this month was a welcomed sight for area farmers, worried about dry conditions. But the rain keeps coming.

"This is very unusual for August to have this much rain," explained Dr. Patrick Colyer, the Northwest Regional Director at the LSU Ag Center.

Dr. Colyer said the biggest problem at the moment for farmers is having to wait to harvest their corn.

"If it keeps raining and raining you start affecting the quality a little bit, and you know, then there goes their profit," he explained.

Fourth generation farmer Ryan Kirby of Belcher told us, "Hopefully, God will shine down and give us, give us some good weather and get these crops out."

Kirby said he's only harvested 20 percent of his corn crop so far in north Caddo Parish. But he added that he's optimistic in the next 10-to-14 days, when the rain lets up a bit, that he'll be able to get the rest of his corn out of his fields.

Kirby said what worries him the most though is corn's biggest enemy, at least this time of year is the wind.

"High winds can knock the corn down and make it a nightmare to harvest," explained Kirby.

Kirby showed us recently-shot video footage from his drone flying above his nearly 4,000 acres of farmland, nearly half dedicated to corn. He pointed to green areas that are spots where only grass and weeds remain after wind tore aware the corn stalks.

"Worst case scenario would be to have this in September."

He said that's largely because rain in a month from now would interfere with harvesting his nearly 2,000 acres of cotton and soybean crops.

"Where the beans would be sprouting on the stalk. The cotton would be ready to harvest. It'd be sprouting on the stalk and getting knocked on the ground from the rain," described Kirby.

Rainfall for the year is already more than a foot above normal for the year and more than an inch higher for this month. And based on the latest forecasts, the rain is expected to continue in the next week.

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