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Weekend rain brings relief for farmers

By Lauren Maschmedt, KTVM Anchor, lmaschmedt@ktvm.com
Published On: May 20 2013 08:18:38 PM MDT
Updated On: May 20 2013 10:10:24 PM MDT
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

A steady flow of drizzle has rained down on the Gallatin Valley over the last few days. While that may have put a damper on some outdoor plans over the weekend, farmers say it's a welcome relief for their crops.

On Monday, grain producer Matt Flikkema dug into the dirt to see how deep the moisture seeped into the ground of his spring wheat fields.

So far, it hasn't been promising. He has dealt with dry conditions and bug problems.

"I've already had to replant a field," he said. "The wire worms ate it up."

But what he found on Monday will make a huge difference for the rest of the season. The soil is no longer dry. "It's got moisture to grow and mature now," he said.

Back in September, NBC Montana interviewed Flikkema about last season. He told us the drought conditions meant crippled crops. He was concerned this year would be the same.

"It was almost kind of scary to be out putting all this money into these fields with no moisture, and no moisture on the horizon," Flikkema said.

But after last weekend, he and neighboring farmers say they don't have to worry anymore.

"Couldn't ask for it better," he said. "Just wonderful, wonderful moisture for the whole valley."

Flikkema said his spring wheat should be ready for harvest in early September.