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Arkansas farmers battling a post-flood mess

A weed scientist says recent floods have destroyed thousands of acres of crops at a crucial point in the growing season.   

Tommy Butts with the University of Arkansas Extension says some areas received 20 inches of rain in a 48-hour period. “People are trying to figure out what to do because half of their crops or either dead or they’re trying to figure out if going to survive or figure out what their next move is. We even got some fields out there with a week of 90-95 degree temperatures and a steady wind blowing. It’s actually so dry they almost need to run some water down furrows in some places,” he says.

He tells Brownfield the inconsistent field conditions are making weed management exceptionally challenging for farmers this year. “We hammer on using residual as much as possible and not letting weeds get out of the ground because that’s the best way to start off with any of these fields,” he says. “That’s going to be a tough target to hit in a lot of areas because now that the rain has kind of shut off and we’re almost dry after the flooding. Residuals don’t get activated as easily.”

And with the dicamba application deadline of June 30th rapidly approaching, growers are left with limited options. 

Butts says there’s been a lot of talk about replant. “There’s a lot acres that I think that will try and get replanted and can still be successful but there’s also a good handful of acres where it’s going to be very challenging to get back in there even before July 1 and get them replanted.”

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture is hosting a post-flood management meeting on Monday, June 21st.  The meeting will also be live-streamed on Facebook.  A link can be found HERE.

AUDIO: Tommy Butts, University of Arkansas

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