Many acres of farmland in Saline and Jefferson counties are underwater after this week’s heavy rains, particularly the downpours that came along with severe weather on Wednesday.
Saline County Extension Educator Randy Pryor says the extent of damage to the newly planted crops will be known next week.
“Seeds that are sitting there underwater that are just starting to sprout, it depends on temperatures,” Pryor says. “Things were a little on the cooler side, so with respiration and oxygen need, the seeds can last a little longer. If things are underwater two or more days, that two-to-four day period would cause us to completely replant areas. They just aren’t going to make it.
Some areas of Saline County received ten to thirteen inches of rain. Pryor says hopefully the flood waters will drop over the next few days.
“Farmers are going to know next week,” he says. “Hopefully things will recede and dry out. When these waterlogged areas are fit for replanting, they’re going to see what made it and what didn’t.
Despite the deep floodwaters, Pryor says farmers may be pleasantly surprised by how much of the crop can still survive if the water moves out this weekend.
If there is one good thing about this week’s flood, Pryor says the fact that it occurred in the month of May is good news. Had this flood hit in mid-June, there might not have been enough time to replant and still produce a viable crop this year.
By Dave Niedfeldt, KWBE, Beatrice