Rains raise farmer's outlook

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Wichita, Kan. -- There's nothing quite like significant rain to lift a farmer's outlook.

"It was kind of doom and gloom for awhile but as soon as the rain comes around it's like Christmas morning to a farmer," says Josh Patterson who farms near Furley, northeast of Wichita.

Patterson says, "We got an inch and a half of rain the past few days. So we're real excited about this summer now."

Patterson and Sedgwick County Extension Agent Zach Simon were inspecting wheat and corn fields Tuesday.

Both agree the rain comes late to greatly improve the wheat but will still help it.

Simon says, "It's not going to increase yields. It'll help test weights. It's too late to increase yield at this point. It'll keep the berries from shriveling and increase the quality, for sure."

The rain is making Patterson change his mind with what he was going to do with his wheat.

"A couple weeks ago before the rains came I thought about putting it to hay to feed to the cattle because I didn't think it was going to be worth anything. But then we got an inch of rain and that turned things around quite a bit."

Across the road from his wheat field is a field of corn that was struggling to grow a couple of weeks ago. But it's showing improvement after the rain.

Patterson says, "It made a huge impact on it. It gave enough moisture in the soil to germinate the seeds and give us a good stand. And now the potential in this field is far greater than it was two weeks ago."

Some farmers like Patterson held off planting some row crops like soybeans and milo until they got rain. Patterson says he's moving forward with planting now.

"No we're not holding off. We've got plenty of soil moisture to sew."


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