After record breaking drought and heat, the past few years have not been easy ones for farmers and gardeners. However, this June has provided much needed moisture, 8.34 inches as of Monday afternoon, according to John Feerick, senior meteorologist at accuweather.com.
Normal rain fall for the month is 4 inches, making it, on average, one of the wettest months of the year. So far, the area has received 11.15 inches for the year at the area recording site.
“Conditions have improved,” said Feerick.
However, the area is still considered to be in moderate drought. Moisture numbers, “are not where they need to be,” said Feerick.
The long range forecast for the area for summer calls for more “battle zone,” weather, with potential for thunderstorms accompanied by rain.
In good news for the area, Feerick said that the rain will keep the ground from becoming rock solid, which results in higher temperatures. If the ground is rock solid and dry, it doesn’t take as much from the sun to warm things up, he said.
The news is not so good for wheat farmers, who are currently harvesting. Marvin Rose, agronomy manager at the Great Bend Coop, said that some fields are too wet to harvest.
“It’s a challenge for growers this year,” Rose said. With all the rain and drought, the wheat is thin.
“The thin wheat is getting weeds in the field,” Rose said.
Some fields may have to sprayed for weeds before the crop can be brought in, and the farmer will have to wait seven days to harvest after spraying. Some fields may be so bad that they may not be able to harvest, according to Rose.
“Every day test weights go down, the wheat could start sprouting or could get knocked down by wind,” said Rose.