Arkansas Floods: About 25% Of One County’s Crops Go Under

    Steady rains over southeast Arkansas, combined with overflowing tributaries heading toward the Mississippi River, caused the northern portion of Chicot County to suffer severe flooding this week, area Cooperative Extension Service staff said Friday.

    Gus Wilson, staff chair for the Chicot County Cooperative Extension Service office in Lake Village, said much of the northern quarter of the county was under six to seven inches of water.

    According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2012 Census of Agriculture, Chicot County includes more than 289,000 acres of farmland, more than 134,000 acres of which are used to grow soybeans. Corn and rice account for another approximately 79,000 acres.

    Wilson said the northern quarter of the county will likely suffer near-total crop loss due to the flooding and the timing of the weather events.

    “It’s just about June now,” Wilson said. “You can still plant, but yield potential is really going to start dropping in the next week.”

    He added that even if the area receives no more rains, it will probably be several weeks before fields are dry enough to begin replanting.

    The Chicot County Sheriff’s Office said there had been no mandatory evacuations as of Friday morning.

    Jarrod Hardke, extension rice agronomist with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, said that over the past several years, Arkansas growers in different areas of the state have had to deal with sever flooding and potential crop loss.

    “This is becoming somewhat routine,” Hardke said. “Unfortunately, we’re getting a fair amount of experience in dealing with it.”

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