Grayson Co. Farmers Happy About Soaking Rainfall - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Grayson Co. Farmers Happy About Soaking Rainfall

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DORCHESTER, TX -- For drivers, the constant rain falling across Texoma has been a real nuisance, but to farmers who have been watching their fields closely, it is a blessing.

Near Dorchester, Jack Norman plants corn and wheat about half and half on his 4,000 acres of fields, but the wheat that went in the ground two months ago has not been showing up.

"It has to emerge from the ground by the first of the year or it doesn't have the time to get the cold weather that's necessary for it to vernalize, to make wheat. We were beginning to get concerned because had the rain come January 15th, we would not have made a wheat crop," says Norman.

"Our producers were telling us that if they didn't get rainfall by Christmas, that they could possibly lose their wheat crop, so they got a little moisture with the snow and a little rain during the Christmas event, and now they're getting more rain," says AgriLife extension agent Chuck Jones.

Norman says he rotates planting corn and wheat, but until today's rain he was not sure if he would be ready to put the corn in. Now he says he is ready to plant it in March or April.

"It's good for the crops from a livestock perspective too, to try get water for their stock ponds, get some water in the ground for corn season coming up," says Quality Grain employee David Smith.

The rain also helps gardeners, like Luella resident Ginger Mynatt, who says until now two rain barrels she keeps to collect rain for her roses have been empty. "The barrels have been dry a lot, so I've had to supplement with regular water, which is not as good," says Mynatt.

"The rain's being absorbed by the soil and to be out of the drought, we have to have enough runoff to fill the ponds and lakes," says gardener Darlene Cottier.

Back on the farm, Norman is happy about every drop to help his crops grow. "The snow at Christmastime got it going, this rain certainly will help," says Norman.

Officials with the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Wednesday they will declare 76 of 77 Oklahoma counties and two-thirds of Texas as natural disaster areas due to drought conditions.