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Big rainstorms come too late for Colorado farmers whose crop has already died

Some farmers say they've lost up to 80% of their spring crop after a hot and dry summer.

BENNETT, Colo. — There are people in Colorado who pray for rain all year. Those wild downpours we saw over the last couple of days came too late for some of the people who need it most.

On Colorado’s Eastern Plains, the focus is on the future as Lewton Farms hopes next year is better than this one.

"This is the 57th year that I’ve either ran combines or owned combines. Personally, it’s the worst year that I’ve ever experienced for crops," Curtis Lewton said.

All that rain we saw over the last couple of days came far too late for Lewton. His farm in Bennett is already preparing for next season, knowing this year’s crops are nearly all gone.

He said he’s lost 80% of the spring crop he was planning to harvest this fall before the heat and wind killed it, things like corn and millet. His wheat crop is at about 45% of what it should be.

"This is what most of the dryland corn in Eastern Colorado looks like," Lewton said, pointing to a dried up field of crops. "It’s far enough now that the rain, it can’t bring it back. It’s just done for the year."

Credit: KUSA

While much of the state got much needed rain, pulling us out of a drought, parts of the Eastern Plains aren’t so lucky. 

Bennet, where Lewton Farms is, saw three inches of rain between June 1 and August 15. That’s only about 66% of the amount of rain the area should have in that time. Compare that to the metro area that’s seen 4-6 inches of rain in those months.

In the past two days they’ve seen 0.61 inches of rain. Still, parts of the metro area got more rain in just a couple of days than Bennett has seen all year. The rain Lewton did see is enough to give him hope.

"It’s too late for this year’s crop, but we desperately need it, and we need more to get enough soil moisture to plant winter wheat in the next three weeks and hope we get it germinated and coming," Lewton said. "It started off real good, but we had the four weeks of wind and hundred degree weather. Just like people, plants can’t stand that very much and it killed a lot of the wheat crop."

A love-hate relationship, always hoping for more rain.

RELATED: Rain totals: Here's how much has fallen across Colorado

RELATED: Denver rain helps put a big dent in Colorado drought

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