Farmers, and their crops, struggle with unseasonably dry May

Friday, May 25, 2012 | 5:05 p.m. CDT; updated 3:32 p.m. CDT, Saturday, May 26, 2012

COLUMBIA — An unseasonably dry May is worrying Missouri farmers.

The 1.16 inches of rain so far in May puts Columbia 2.73 inches short of the average of 3.89 inches through Friday.

Bill Wiebold, an agronomist with MU Extension, said the dry spell comes as farmers have planted their crops and need moisture to get the growing season off to a good start.

Higher evaporation rates driven by hotter temperatures and low humidity are contributing to low moisture levels in the soil, said Tim Reinbott, superintendent at MU’s Bradford Research and Extension Center.

"It’s unusual to have such a high demand for water this early," Wiebold said on Wednesday. "The point I want to make is, it’s serious and will get more serious as time goes on."

Showers and storms brought temporary relief to areas west of Columbia on Friday morning with localized rainfall totals of 2 inches or more, but only trace amounts fell in the Columbia area, according to Doppler radar.

Reinbott said Friday morning's scant rainfall didn't make a difference overall.

Record highs in the 90s forecast for Saturday and Sunday won't help.

The National Weather Service was forecasting chances of rain Monday and during the middle of next week. "We don’t need scattered showers. What we need is a good general rain," Reinbott said.

Light rains after farmers plant in dry soil can provide enough water for seeds to sprout, Reinbott said, but if the moisture evaporates too quickly after germination the young plants will die.

The latest weekly drought monitor map, issued Thursday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, showed "abnormally dry" conditions — the least severe level of drought — expanding from southeast Missouri toward the central part of the state.

Supervising editor is John Schneller.

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Derrick Fogle May 25, 2012 | 7:46 p.m.

Climate change affects agriculture, too. Just sayin'...

Don't tell me you weren't hoping Columbia would get some rain today. I was.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams May 25, 2012 | 9:53 p.m.

Climate change affects agriculture, too.


Especially winter.

(Report Comment)
frank christian May 25, 2012 | 11:10 p.m.

He won't define it for me, but I have to wonder why DF would bring up "climate change" during a discussion of local drouth?

My "Humminbird" depth sounder showed me this week that the Lake of Ozarks is Up to 32' from 29', which has been normal full at our location for nearly 10 years. The "lake", seems to have received, as it always does, additional water from KS and beyond, apparently not affected by the U.N. description of "climate change".

Shouldn't these folks somehow, be apprised of the misinformation they seem to happily disseminate among us? Every time I see the sticks and leaves that come afloat from excessive rain, I recall, some years ago, our liberal friend that pointed out "the pollution that we have in this lake!" I told her to look closer and see that the "pollution" was natural sticks and leaves from the previously dry banks of the lake. Her answer was, well, I'm certainly glad to hear that, because..... Her whole conversation was to show that she, Cared! Can liberals be the only ones among us that "care"?

(Report Comment)
andrea adams May 27, 2012 | 1:02 a.m.

Mr. Christian I am confused by your comment. Do you mean to say that you deny that Climate Change exists or that you "care" about the issue like your liberal friend? I just don't see how you can do both, regardless of your political affiliation.

(Report Comment)
frank christian May 27, 2012 | 10:30 a.m.

a adams - That climate change exists is beyond question. That we human beings, with our carbon emissions, are now causing it, is not.

The average liberal, to show that they are "aware" and "care" is capable of pointing out pollution even where it does not exist!

These same liberals note no danger to their well being in the enormous transfer of wealth (so far, the only known cure for the "warming"), which for Americans, means, their wealth to others.

The corrupt U.N. (where the whole issue was conceived) now has a committee with two American liberals, Geo. Soros, Lawrence Summers included, devising a plan to transfer 100B$ from wealthier nations (they create more emissions) to less wealthy (create less emissions). Last I read, how to collect the money was their only obstacle. Recent climate talks in Bonn, Germany got nowhere because "countries don't agree on who is rich and who is poor." It seems Qatar and Singapore are now wealthier than the U.s., per capita, but, still defined as "developing countries".

I care that this issue is always used as the means to extract money from governments, thus people. EU, where plans have been in effect for years, have gobbled wealth, yet done nothing for the climate. W. Bush's mostly voluntary actions did more than than any other, yet he is detested by Liberals whom purport to "care" about their environment.

In short (I bet you were wishing I'd written this sooner), I "care" more about the people that are expanding their personal wealth with climate change laws and mandates, at the expense of we others, than Their professed damage to our earth.

(Report Comment)

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