Heavy rains pound Obion County; many farmers forced to plant soybeans

Heavy rains pound Obion County; many farmers forced to plant soybeans
Rains that moved through Tuesday may have weakened the storm system that brought devastation to central Oklahoma as it moved across Tennessee, but it also added to the water levels causing problems for area farmers.
Officials at the A.L. Strub Wastewater plant in Union City recorded 2.19 inches of rain on Tuesday, bringing this year’s total rainfall to 27.502 inches. This time last year, only 12.489 inches had been recorded. However, the amount is less than in 2011, when 34.958 inches had fallen. Some residents recorded much more rainfall, including one report of almost 31⁄2 inches near the airport.
Tim Smith, Obion County University of Tennessee Extension Service office director, said corn planting has been a challenge this year for most farmers and the county will be down about 10,000 to 15,000 acres from what had been intended because of the weather.
He said area farmers will not attempt to plant much more corn and will instead plant their acres in soybeans.
“All the rain to one degree is beneficial because of deep root moisture, but fields are waterlogged and the nitrogen uptake is affected,” Smith said. “The corn that is up looks good, but it needs dry, warm weather.”
The excessive rain has also played havoc with the Dorena-Hickman Ferry.
Officials there just announced on Tuesday the ferry had been reopened after having been closed since April 22 because of floodwaters that reached the top of the landing at Hickman, Ky. Floodwaters had dropped enough this week to allow the ferry crew to clear driftwood and other debris from the landings on each side of the river.
After spending much of last year fighting to maintain operations due to low water on the Mississippi River, Capt. Ed Floyd said it is ironic that the Dorena-Hickman Ferry had to shut down for an extended period this year due to high water.
The Dorena-Hickman Ferry connects Kentucky Highway 1354 at Hickman with Missouri Route A and Route 77 near Dorena, Mo.
The Dorena-Hickman Ferry operates from the Hickman Landing with regular river crossings during daylight hours. Passage for passenger vehicles is $14, with additional tolls for trucks, motor homes and vehicles pulling trailers. There are discounts for vehicles making return crossings.
Missouri and Kentucky have the geographic distinction of being the only border states that are not directly connected by a road. The only direct route between the two states is the Dorena-Hickman Ferry.
The Dorena-Hickman Ferry operates at Mississippi River navigation mile point 922.0.
For more info on the Dorena-Hickman Ferry and a schedule of operating hours go to http://www.dorena-hickmanferryboat.com. Motorists can also check on the ferry’s operating status by calling (731) 693-0210.
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Published in The Messenger 5.22.13

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