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Winter wheat growers advised to check for hail damage
Author: Mary Hightower, University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture

UNDATED — Arkansas winter wheat growers are being advised to give their fields a once-over Monday in the wake of storms that produced damaging tornadoes and pummeled the state with hail up to the size of softballs.

DESTROYED -- An EF2 twister that struck near Fordyce reduced parts of the country club to splinters. (University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture photo by Keith Gresham)

“The wheat crop is small and very unlikely that wind caused any damage,” said Keith Perkins, Lonoke County extension agent for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. “ A hail storm could cause damage by reducing stand.  However, each field would need to be evaluated on a field-by-field basis.”

Neighboring Prairie County received .75 to 1.25 inches of rain, and that brought a halt to work some farmers were doing to get fields ready for spring planting. Some of that work had been on hold in the last month because of a series of heavy rainstorms.

“Farmers were able to get in the field on ground not yet worked,” said Prairie County Extension Staff Chair Brent Griffin. “Many were trying to move dirt –to level the land, and that does not get done unless they lay fields out.”

According to the National Weather Service, a trailer house was destroyed in DeWitt and a shed and duck blind were demolished near Almyra. Hail an inch or larger was reported in Pulaski, Lonoke, Hot Spring, Independence, Grant, Jackson, Cleveland, Jefferson, and Monroe counties. Wind and hail damage from thunderstorms was reported near Chidester in Ouachita County, and Grant County.

RED BOXES -- The red boxes show some of the many tornado warnings from Sunday night's storms. This screen shot of the National Weather Service radar centered at Little Rock was taken around 8:30 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 21. (Image courtesy National Weather Service)


For more information on crop production, contact your county extension office or visit or

The Cooperative Extension Service is part of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture and offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability, marital or veteran status, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.


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