Arkansas Delta Farmers Brace For Remnants Of Hurricane Ida As Harvest Looms

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Hurricane Ida decimated the Louisiana coast Sunday earlier than turning its wrath on town of New Orleans, destroying property and leaving a couple of million with out energy. Growers all through the Mississippi Delta area, together with these within the Arkansas Delta are watching as rain and winds from the now tropical storm transfer north.

Rain totals and wind gusts all through the area will probably be variable, in response to the Nationwide Climate Service, however producers are bracing for weather-related injury on the cusp of the harvest season. Rice and corn crops might be essentially the most in danger from this storm system.

“With harvest getting began, rains and storms will delay that throughout crops,” Jarrod Hardke, extension rice agronomist for the College of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, stated. “In rice, there’s the potential for lodging and diminished grain high quality in fields prepared for harvest,” he stated. Lodging happens when winds or heavy rains flatten crops, making them troublesome for harvesting gear to select up. Late-planted crops are at elevated illness threat with added moisture and excessive humidity.”

Corn producers will probably be dealing with the identical points with the potential not just for lodging, and harvest loss but additionally grain high quality, stated Jason Kelley, extension wheat and feed grains agronomist for the Division of Agriculture.

“Grain sorghum growers can be anxious in regards to the grains sprouting within the seed head, particularly if the rain lingers,” Kelley stated.

Lodging can be a priority for soybean producers, stated Jeremy Ross, extension soybean agronomist for the Division of Agriculture.

“We’ve extra late planted soybean fields this yr than regular, and lots of of those fields have a number of weeks earlier than maturity. As soon as the soybeans are lodged and tangled, illness and bug issues will improve,” he stated. “There gained’t be any air stream to assist scale back illness strain. Plus, it’s troublesome to make use of fungicides and pesticides down into the cover with lodged soybeans.”

“One other concern is seed high quality with lodged soybeans,” he stated. “Greater moisture and humidity in a lodged cover may trigger seed rot and sprouting.”

Cotton harvest is a bit more than a month away, with only some bolls open, stated Invoice Robertson, extension cotton agronomist.

“Slightly little bit of rain gained’t damage. That is the time we’re placing our final irrigation out,” he stated. “Quite a lot of farmers are holding off on that final irrigation in anticipation of this hurricane coming.”

Nonetheless, “a variety of rain and a variety of wind goes to be dangerous,” Robertson stated.

“Proper now, the crops are top-heavy,” he stated. “Once we get the leaves all moist, it’s simple for an enormous windstorm to put the cotton crops on the bottom. As soon as the bolls hit the bottom in dense cover they’re going to rot. That is what occurred final yr. We misplaced lots to rot.”

“Typically the crops will stand again up some, however as soon as the fruit hits the bottom, it’s gone,” Robertson stated.

As soon as the remnants of Ida cross via the area, dry sunny climate is predicted for the subsequent a number of days. Officers say the climate will assist farmers deal with no matter injury is introduced by Ida.

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