Above-average rainfall helps crops, raises river

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Angel Idowu
Saturday, July 12, 2014

JANESVILLE--Janesville received 3.4 inches more rain than average between April and June.

That's good news for corn and bean growers but a headache for farmers trying to cut hay.

“There is a lot that plays into delivering good yields,” said U.S. Department of Agriculture state statistician Greg Bussler. “It can depend on the type of soil the crop is in. Rain can certainly cause drowning in some areas, while leaving other areas stressed because of access moisture.”

Some farmers have been having a difficult time getting their hay cut and baled between showers, Bussler said.

The plentiful rainfall lessened the need to irrigate for some farmers.

“It's dependent upon the type of crop and soil,” Bussler said. “Farms on sandy soil always need irrigation. It all depends on how the crops have been doing throughout the year.”

The extra water has raised the Rock River but not to the point of flooding.

“The river is currently at what we call a high bank full stage,” National Weather Service hydrologist Brian Hahn said. “River levels are divided into four categories: bank full stage, minor flood stage, moderate flood stage and major flood stage."

Minor flood stage is 9 feet at Afton. The river was at 8.6 feet on Friday and forecast to drop below 8 feet by Tuesday or Wednesday.

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