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      Snow and rain helping subsoil moisture

      The recent rain and snow is soaking yards, gardens and farm fields here in the Tri-State area and that means drought conditions that plagued the area for the last 18 months could be a thing of the past.

      The last time we saw Doug Duncan was when he was in the middle of the harvest last August. It was dry, dusty and there was a drought. Now we fast forward seven months and how things have changed with plenty of precipitation and colder temperatures.

      "Yeah that's really going to help us. Last year it was really dry early and of course dry all year. It's going to be nice for some sub soil moisture and get it soaked up to help carry us through." Duncan said.

      According to the National Weather Service, the Quincy and Adams County area has received about seven and a half inches of precipitation since the first of the year. In fact, there's been so much rain, farm field drainage systems that are three to four feet underground are flowing and emptying into nearby farm ponds. But it only takes a few days of warmer temperatures and no rain and farmers could be in the fields.

      "It doesn't take guys more than a week of solid planting weather to get done with the size they are today and the equipment. Again we're not behind the eight ball at all, it's normal weather. Probably a little cooler then normal, but we don't mind the precipitation," Mike Roegge, crop specialist with the University of Illinois Cooperative Extension said.

      Both Roegge and Duncan agree that the area needs to see a week's worth of temperatures in the 50s and some wind to dry out the fields so corn planting can get underway. But they're both hoping that this year is nothing to what we saw in the summer of 2012.

      And to give you an idea of just how dry it's been, Roegge said the last time a rainfall had runoff into drainage ditches and farm ponds was June 2011.