This week’s rain event should help Jackson County crop growers, said OSU Extension officers on Friday, May 23.
Cotton planters will likely see a bit of their crop emerging after this weekend’s rain of several inches, said Jackson County OSU Extension Agriculture Educator Gary Strickland.
Strickland said there hasn’t been much cotton planted in Jackson County because the ground has been so dry, but what has been planted should come up with this 2-4 inches of rainfall. The rain should also allow many cotton growers to plant seed this coming week and provide enough moisture for seeds to germinate and emerge.
Strickland said, however, Jackson County still needs a few more rains to recharge the soil profile.
“It’s a wonderful rain,” Strickland said. “Even if we get the 2-4 inches, which would be fantastic if we get that much, we still need to repeat this multiple times. This doesn’t get us out of the drought. It will help us get started with some cotton planting and things like that, and get some of that cotton up.
“Our profile is so dry and so deep that in some regards it’s a drop in the bucket, but a really nice drop. We just need a whole bunch of of them now.”
Research Director and Cotton Extension Program Leader, Randy Boman, at OSU Southwest Research and Extension Center, said growers should be able to establish their cotton crop with this rain.
“This is going to help us a lot,” Boman said. “Not only with the crop here in Jackson County in the irrigation district, but also with the dry land crop that we have in lots of counties here in western Oklahoma.
“We’re really, really happy to see the rainfall and it couldn’t really have come at a better time.”
Boman said that there is some time left to plant irrigated crop and dry land crop. “When the rain stops and fields dry out, that will be the time to roll up your sleeves and go to work,” he said.
Boman commented that he didn’t want to sound negative, but “it’s gonna take more than this to fix our problem.” He said that growers are hoping for a high amount of rain to generate run-off into Lake Lugert-Altus to make up for the shortage of nearly 50 inches of rainfall over the last three years.