by Aaron Zachmeier : The Natchez Democrat Published Wednesday, July 31, 2002 11:46 PM CDT
VIDALIA, La. – With July’s precipitation totals just below average, the drought of the early farming season is a melting memory.
But the effects of the dry spring are still being felt across Concordia Parish. Parish County Agent Glen Daniels reported that corn and cotton fields have benefited greatly from the recent rain and largely recovered from the water shortage.
"The crops have really rebounded," Daniels said.
According to the state Climatology Lab in Baton Rouge, Concordia received 3.71 inches of rain in July, not much less than the July’s average of 4.03 inches.
A good deal of that – 2.63 inches – poured down on July 23. On Tuesday, much of the parish got wet, but some areas were soggier than others.
Daniels measured 1.5 inches at Lake St. John; Wildsville got less than half an inch.
"The rain that we got yesterday was really scattered," he said.
The sun, Daniels said, has also been kind to local crops.
While temperatures have consistently been in the 90s, cotton and soybeans haven’t been subject to scorching, nor has corn been in danger of Aspergillus infection and aflatoxin poisoning, which can result from excessive heat.
"It was hot, but not too hot," Daniels said. "It never cracked 100 degrees."
But even though things look good for the moment, complications may arise.
Because of the lack of rain during the planting season, many farmers sowed their soybean seeds late.
Those late soybean plants, now developing pods, need more rain.
"If they get too dry, they’ll get stunted," Daniels said.
But local cotton is a stage precipitation might be damaging.
So Daniels is keeping his fingers crossed for a compromise on the part of Mother Nature.
"We don’t really need the rain on the cotton," Daniels said. "Seven to 10 days of dry weather would be good."