A strong Sunday morning Sept. 8 rain didn’t alleviate all woes about thirsty crops, according to Pike County Farm Agency Director Roger Colbert.
However, it was enough to lift a county open burn ban advisory issued Friday, Sept. 6 due to dry conditions, according to Presiding County Commissioner Danny Miller.
The county received anywhere from one-quarter to three inches of rain in the weekend storm, depending on the location, Colbert said.
The official reading at Colbert’s office in Bowling Green was 1.4 inches.
That put the official county precipitation for the year at 34.45 inches on Monday, Sept. 8, well above the 26.8 inches that normally falls by the end of September, Colbert said.
“We’re above normal, but it all took place in February, March and April,” Colbert said. “The ground can only hold so much, so a lot of it ran off before it got deep.”
Rain amounts were about 40 percent normal in July and August, creating drought-like conditions almost reminiscent of the 2012 disaster.
The flash drought hit even harder in the Missouri counties just north and east of Pike County, according to the University of Missouri Extension Service.
However, Pike County also received some of the crop stress those counties are suffering, Colbert said.
“The early corn should be ahead of the heat, but the late corn will be hurt,” Colbert said. “It also took the top off the (soy)bean potential.”
“Some folks will harvest (corn) silage in the next week or two,” Colbert said.
Many farms probably won’t reach the 162 bushels per acre average yield of corn realized over the last five years, he added.
With the summer’s lack of rain and the late August and early-September heat, farmers will be happy to get the 46 bushels per acre average of soybeans harvested in the county over the same past five years, Colbert said.