Farmers took advantage of the warm, dry weather last week to get ready to plant — on Friday, fields on both sides of U.S. Highway 70 in the Arkansas Delta were being worked. But winter weather that just will not quit has put a chill on that fieldwork, University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture extension agents said Monday.
"We have had some field work done in Lonoke County but to my knowledge nothing has been planted," said Keith Perkins, Lonoke County extension agent for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. "The soil temperature is still very cold and now wet so it looks like the seeds need to stay in the bag a little while longer."
Perkins said it is still early and the cold rain or snow probably would not affect the fall harvest. However, "on the wheat crop. This rain will hurt any fields that are not well drained or did not have enough drained ditches," he said.
In Chicot County, usually one of the first counties to see corn planted, Gus Wilson, county extension staff chair, said only a handful of acres had been planted.
"Field work was going strong and a few acres of corn was planted last week but most were watching the weather. We had about an inch of rain with this system over the weekend and it’s cold. That will delay corn planting for a couple days."
In Philips County, extension agent Robert Goodson said farmers are in "wait-and-see mode."
"Temperatures were still too cool on Friday. When this dries up, it’ll be a fight to plant," he said.
Temperatures are expected to rise into the 70s by the end of the week.