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Wet weather has effect on area farms and gardens

Last week’s heavy rain came as good news for pastures, but could likely affect corn producers and this spring’s hay crop.

Monday, May 21, 2001

Last week’s heavy rain came as good news for pastures, but could likely affect corn producers and this spring’s hay crop.

"This will be good for pastures and springs, but it won’t do much good for hay," said Ralph Crawford, district conservationist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

The hay will be getting very mature by the time it dries out enough to cut, Crawford explained.

Also, some corn planted this spring was underwater as of Friday.

If the corn doesn’t survive, it will likely be messy for farmers trying to get equipment into fields to replant, but again the rain boosted pastures that were already short on water, Crawford said.

Few tobacco farmers had set plants, so those ready might have to wait until it’s dry weather, he added.

Meanwhile, home gardeners welcomed the drink of spring rain. As long as garden soil drains properly, wet weather is usually no problem, and strawberries, raspberries and other plants benefit from wet weather, Crawford said.

Gardeners need to watch out for insects, though, because moisture brings more of them out, he said.

It doesn’t look like the excess moisture is over, either, the National Weather Service said.

Forecasters in Charleston, W.Va., predict showers and thunderstorms tonight and Tuesday throughout the Ohio Valley. High will be in the upper 60s Tuesday with a chance of rain of 90 percent.

The extended forecast calls for a chance of showers through Friday, forecasters said.