Large amount of rainfall causes worry for farmers ahead of planting deadline

KAMC News

LUBBOCK, Texas — Areas across the South Plains have seen nearly three inches of rainfall in the past forty-eight hours, leading to flooded roadways and fields. But so much rain can be a double-edged sword for our local Agricultural producers.\

“No sure thing in farming. No guarantees in farming,” said Cotton Farmer, Dale Kitchens.

An approximately 50-acre pond now sits where he was planning to grow cotton this year. His rain gages caught over 3 inches of rain in some of his fields from just last weekend’s storms.

“We’re happy for the rain. We are always happy in West Texas to get water,” said Kitchens.

According to Kitchens, with the amount of rain the Lubbock area has already seen, so far this year, the soils are already completely saturated.

All this rain is coming right before Lubbock County’s June 5th cotton planting deadline, causing problems for both farmers that have yet to plant their crops and those who have already planted them.

That deadline has to do with insurance. Every day after June 5, a farmer waits to plant their crop. It is a percentage off what insurance will cover if something happens to your crop.

With fields either unplanted or underwater, the rain created fears of missing that deadline and already planted crops not recovering.

“We just have to change our plan constantly due to weather,” said Kitchens.

Kitchens said he has planted 70 percent of his crop but with more rain forecasted is now unsure of when he’ll be able to plant that last 30 percent.

“It’s gonna take some time to dry out before we can get back in and finish our planting, but if it will just give us some time, we’ll get it done,” said Kitchens.

Now he’s just waiting for the clouds to part long enough to get the rest of the seeds in the ground.

“It’s as they say ‘It’s not over until it’s over.’ We have a challenge now to get planted, and then our next challenge is to have a good growing season,” said Kitchens. “But with more rain in the forecast, that is a question only God knows the answer to.”

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