Farmers excited about rain, praying for more

Pictured: Keith Grayson, Idalou Coop Gin
Pictured: Keith Grayson, Idalou Coop Gin

Mark Schoepf is a farmer in Lorenzo, and he woke up this morning to the pond by his house full of water for the first time in years.

Schoepf said the frogs croaking and the raindrops were like music to his ears.

He went outside to tend to his cotton fields and was soaking wet, but it's the happiest he's been this year. His fields got three inches of rain, something his irrigation could not pump in three weeks.

"It was answered prayers, is what it was," he said.

But Schoepf was not the only one with a skip in his step. Keith Grayson said about a dozen farmers came to the Idalou Coop Gin he manages this morning, all with grins on their faces.

"It helped the attitude," Grayson said. "Everyone had kind of lost their confidence, and it's really helped a lot."

Scott Harmon is one of those people.

Harmon said his land in Idalou needed the moisture - something his puppies, born seven weeks ago, had never seen. But he said farmers are not the only ones who will benefit.

"This is just a great motivational for everybody," he said. "I don't care who you talk to or where you go, there are people that all they can talk about is the rain, or the drought, or vise versa. It's not just people in Ag who are excited about this."

Not too far away from Harmon is another farmer named Damon Cooley, who has six children and, like the puppies, some had never seen such a hard rain before. While they played in the mud, he counted his blessings.

He said the three inches of fresh rain in his fields will easily save him $100,000 worth of irrigation.

"Now they can turn off these wells and save some of our water," he said. "It's just huge for our whole area, the economic value of it."

Before this rain, Schoepf had already given up on some fields and wasn't sure about his cotton crop.

"At least we have hope now," he said. "And that's what we're excited about, is we feel like at least we can get it started and buy some time until we get our next beneficial rain. We just feel blessed to get the rain."

One thing these farmers all agreed on was that this rain does not mean the drought is over. They hope to see more rain come their way soon, but said that their crops are now off to a better start.

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