July Showers Bring Happy Farmers and Gardeners

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Rainfall the River Valley received this week has been good news for local farmers and gardeners.

"The rain is great,” said gardener John Ford. “It's better than last year, last year was miserable."

Ford grows tomatoes, corn and peppers. He said the recent rain has been great, especially considering what happened to his vegetables last summer.

"It was just dry and hard to get anything to grow and anything to stay alive. Even with watering just hot and miserable," said Ford.

An agriculture director said when it rains, that means dollar signs for farmers.

"Anytime you see rain all that means is things are going to get a little bit easier for you,” said Lance Kirkpatrick. “It's amazing what a good rainfall will do to kind of green everything up."

So far this month the River Valley received 3.69 inches of rainfall and at a farmers co-op in Fort Smith, managers said that's good for business.

"It's helped us a lot,” said store manager, Jack Grote. ”It got so dry, this is going to be a savior to us."

July has received more rain than expected.

"So glad to have rain in July it’s just unusual," said Grote.

Kirkpatrick said all it takes in the summer is two parched weeks for farmers to feel the heat.

"We are two weeks away from a drought,” said Kirkpatrick. If we don't get any more rain today, let's say this rain stops and we go two weeks without another rainfall. We get around 100 degrees then we will need another rainfall."

New numbers coming out Tuesday, as expected, show the area is still in a drought but won't be as bad with the recent rainfall.

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