GARDEN CITY, Kansas – For years now Western Kansas farmers have been waiting for consistent rain.
“It’s about time!” said Finney County farmer Mike Deaver.
While the moisture has lifted spirits in drought stricken areas and helped farmers like Deaver keep their wells shut off for weeks, it’s slowed down the planting process for an important crop- corn.
“If we go in too wet we compact the field and hamper the root growth and make a muddy mess, it has to be somewhat dry,” Deaver said.
Luckily he got his corn in just before the rains came, but other farmers are running out of time.
“We need anywhere from 85 to 115 days for corn to go from seedling all the way to maturity,” explained KSN Ag expert John Jenkinson.
If they haven’t planted it yet producers need a few days of sunshine in the next ten days or so if they hope to plant the crop at all.
As for the corn that made it into the ground before the rains came, it’s certainly benefiting from all the moisture, but it too could use a little bit more sun to ensure a maximum yield.
“If we would continue to have a very wet and unseasonably cool summer the corn would still have a hard time getting to maturity,” Jenkinson said.
But being Kansas, Deaver is optimistic that the sun and wind will come around long enough to dry things out.
“One thing about this country, it’ll sure dry up,” he said. “We’ll take a rain every week after we get the crops in the ground.”