LITTLE ROCK – A year ago, eastern Arkansas farmers who looked out and saw water where their farmland was, wondered if they’d get a crop planted.
A year later, nearly 11 percent of the state is listed as “abnormally dry,” the least intense of the five dryness intensities mapped by the U.S. Drought Monitor. It’s an area that encompasses all or parts of Clay, Craighead, Crittenden, Cross, Greene, Mississippi, Poinsett, Randolph and St. Francis counties. Thursday’s map was unchanged from last week. The map can be found at http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/DM_state.htm?AR,S.
Some of counties suffered flooding as the Black, White, Cache, and other rivers and tributaries climbed out of their banks a year ago.
Arkansas had finally shed the last drought rating in a snippet of Miller County according to the April 24 map, but that drought-free state lasted just a week.
The southwest corner of Arkansas suffered the worst of the drought for much of last year. This year, it’s so far, so good.
“We had some rainfall in this last round,” Joe Stuart, Little River County Extension Staff Chair for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, said Thursday. “Some are way better than we were last year. If we have a half-normal year, we’ll be in good shape.”
According to NOAA’s2012 spring outlook, Arkansas has a 33-50 percent chance of higher-than-normal temperatures and about equal chances of above-normal, below-normal or normal rainfall.