Timely rain a blessing

By BOB JOHNSON
Register City Editor

A cool front pranced through Allen County overnight and brought with it sufficient rain to have farmers dancing in their fields. Officially, Iola received 2.38 inches.
“It’s really nice to get a slow, penetrating rain any time in July or August,” said Gary Parker, a soybean farmer south of LaHarpe. “We got about 2 inches and it will get the beans to growing, give them some height before they start to bloom.”
Height is important because it increases yield potential and also shades underlying soil to retain moisture.
While Monday night’s rain isn’t the final word for soybeans, it was very important, Parker said, and lets farmers “look forward to a good crop year for a change.
“We need that with input costs being as high as they are.”
Others agree.
“It was a million-dollar rain,” said Dick Sutherland, who raises corn on both upland and irrigated fields. He reported 21⁄2 inches north of Iola.
“It’s going to take the corn a long way,” he said. “And the cool weather has helped a lot. It’s too early to cut off moisture altogether, but this really helped out.”
Sutherland turned on irrigation pumps twice earlier this month on fields near the Neosho River. Last night’s rain eliminates irrigation needs for the immediate future. Spring corn has been putting on ears and the moisture comes close to ensuring a good crop.
The rains could have gone bad.
At 2 a.m. today the National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for Allen and other southeast Kansas counties, but thirsty soils took all the sky could give.
“That was a blessing,” Parker said, as will be another cool front forecast to come through early next week.
Daytime highs are predicted to be in the 80s through Thursday and mid 90s through the weekend. The cool weather offers continued relief from blistering heat that scorched Kansas earlier this month.