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  • Last modified 208 days ago (April 18, 2018)

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Cold weather has a silver lining

Staff writer

Believe it or not, in light of the fact that Marion County is in extreme drought, a cold spring might have helped the wheat crop.

That is the opinion of county extension agent Ricky Roberts.

“The wheat is not far enough along to be hurt,” he said. “The cold actually might have helped. It doesn’t need as much moisture.”

A drive through the country reveals fields of green that seem to improve and grow.

“There must be a little more moisture than we realize,” Roberts said. “I don’t know what the sustainability is because there probably is no subsoil moisture. We’re desperate for rain.”

He noted that cool season brome grass is greening and growing a little, indicating the soil has some moisture. He surmised that the inch or inch and a half of rain the county received March 19 is what has sustained it so far.

He said native pastures need sun and heat to green up and rain to fill low ponds.

“To fill a pond takes heavy rain and run-off,” he said. “If we don’t get it, farmers may be hauling water this summer.

“The moral of the story is to pray for rain. The forecast calls for a chance for decent rain this weekend, so there is still hope out there.”

Cold weather has affected landscapes and slowed progress in spring gardening.

Les and Pam Byer of Marion have a fruit orchard. Pam said their plum trees were flowering when the freezing night temperatures came, so there will be no fruit.

Other fruit trees hadn’t flowered yet, so they are waiting to see if the trees were damaged.

“If they flower, we should have fruit,” Byer said.

Last modified April 18, 2018

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