The rain has not stopped and according to the National Weather Service, this week, there is not an immediate prediction for the return of the more traditional hot, humid and dry Texas summer.

“If July were to be like June — and I can’t fathom it being that way — we would be really behind on our hay harvest and lakes and ponds would be too full,” Henderson County Agricultural Extension Agent Rick Hirsch said. “The hay harvest is way behind due to the inability to cut and some hay is getting old,” Hirsch said.

According to the National Weather Service, on Monday, an urban and small stream flood advisory remained in effect for Henderson and Van Zandt counties.

However, predictions for the future might show relief for the month of July.

“The forecasts I’ve looked at show that July will only be slightly above average for rainfall,” Hirsch said.

He said the average rainfall for July is about five inches.

In July 2006, a total of .97 inches of rain was recorded at the Athens Daily Review, from a total of three days of rain.

The newspaper recorded 1.48 inches of rain for June 2006, compared to the 8.88 inches received this year.

Also, making a large impact on the area this year is the amount of rain received throughout the first half of the year.

So far, for 2007 the newspaper has received 40.18 inches compared to last year’s meager 18.5 inches.

The rain has helped though, by raising the lake and pond levels and also raising the level of the Trinity River, Hirsch said.

“The Trinity is way past flood stage,” he said. “A lot of cattle have been moved out, but I haven’t had any reports of problems.”

Hirsch said he has had a few reports of hoof rot in cattle and he said the mud is becoming a problem.

“Mud problems are almost unheard of in June in Henderson county,” he said.

Flowers are also experiencing difficulties with all the moisture.

“Plants are experiencing a lot of disease, especially gardens, but ornamentals are as well,” Hirsch said. “Fungus and bacteria are a problem.”

However, Hirsch said a lot of good comes from the rain, as well.

“We are fortunate in Henderson county to not be dealing with all the flooding, we have more positives than negatives,” Hirsch said.

He said lakes and ponds are full and the rains have helped to refill the aquifer, which was drawn down last yearby the drought.

“Subsoil moisture is back where it should be,” Hirsch said. “The rain has also helped keep temperatures down and these are good growing temperatures.”

Last year, 24 days in June had temperatures of at least 90 degrees and the average high temperature was 92.

This year there were only seven 90 degree days recorded at the newspaper, with an average high temperature of 88 degrees.

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e-mail ccampbell@athensreview.com

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