Thunderstorms not doing the job

Published 12:11 am Monday, June 21, 2010

VIDALIA — A little rain could do a lot of good right now.

“We are in desperate need of rain,” Concordia Parish Extension Service Director Glen Daniels said. “These scattered thunderstorms we are getting are helping the areas where they are, but we need a universal rain.”

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, Concordia Parish is in a moderate drought, with portions of it being in severe drought.

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Adams County is considered to be abnormally dry.

This is a problem because crops in both large-scale farming operations and home gardens are starting to put out fruit, Adams County Extension Service Director David Carter said.

“For a lot of our vegetables and crops, the water demands go up the later in maturity they get,” he said.

Those rising water demands have to be addressed, and Daniels said that he’s seeing farmers in the parish start to take action.

“You see farmers who irrigate beginning to irrigate,” Daniels said. “When the plants are putting on fruit, that is when you set your yield, and if we don’t get a rain during this time it will affect yield.”

The rain will be especially critical to the young cotton, corn and soybeans that were planted later in the year, he said.

For people with backyard gardens, Carter said they need to make sure they have taken into consideration the water needs of their garden.

“A lot of times when you are planting a garden in February or March when water isn’t an issue, you don’t think about it,” he said.

And while the area could certainly use more rain, gardeners should look at their setup and access the water needs based on its size and location while the area is this dry, Carter said.

“Now is the time to start planning for next year to make changes,” he said.