SIKESTON -- Labor Day weekend rains in Southeast Missouri have helped area farmers, but farmers in Northeast Missouri are still waiting for a good rain.
"How you're affected depends on where you were at during the rains," noted Anthony Ohmes, agronomy specialist for the Mississippi County University Extension office. "Land south of Highway 80 is kind of dry. They missed the rain that hit us Monday and Tuesday, and I think they were needing that."
All of the rain slowed the corn harvest and farmers will have to wait for the crop to dry out, Ohmes said. Charleston has received between 6-7 inches of rain since last Wednesday, but this was still about the right amount needed, he said.
"The rain didn't really affect the soybeans," Ohmes said. "There are some areas where soybeans are underwater in low spots, but for the most part, the rain has helped the beans."
And despite their rough start in May, the cotton crop looks decent, Ohmes said.
"In fact, the first rain most of them (cotton farmers) received was on Monday and Tuesday. The earlier rains missed them so it was a blessing to get that rain," Ohmes pointed out.
Ohmes said he talked with a colleague from Columbia who said northern farmers are still experiencing dry conditions. There were heavy rains around Kansas City and Columbia -- which hadn't received rain since June, he recalled.
On Thursday, Missouri Agriculture Director Peter Hofherr told Northeast Missouri farmers he is seeking state and federal funding to aid them during an extended drought.
But, Hofherr said, farmers must keep officials informed of their struggles.
''You can't quit,'' Hofherr said. ''You've got to keep letting people know where you're at and what your problems are.''
While most of the state received 3 to 6 inches of rain during the Labor Day weekend, some far northwestern and extreme south-central portions of the state got only sparse rains. Some parts of northern and western Missouri have been struggling with drought conditions for two years.
Hofherr said he has contacted U.S. Rep. Sam Graves and U.S. Sen. Kit Bond in search of funding for Missouri farmers during what he called the third-worst drought in Missouri history.
''If we want to have disaster relief at the national level, we have to take from one farm bill to pay for any kind of recovery efforts,'' Hofherr said.