A “million dollar rain” is a rain that helps crops (and makes farmers rich, although not necessarily by a million dollars). This rain occurs in late spring or in the summer, when the crops are growing. For travelers, however, a “million dollar rain” is a misnomer.
“A million dollar rain this week and last” was cited in a Michigan newspaper in 1882.
4 August 1882, The True Northerner (Paw Paw, MI), “Hamilton,” pg. 5, col. 1:
A million dollar rain this week and last.
21 April 1887, Dodge City (KS) Times, “Which Railroad Will Reach Dodge City First,” pg. 2, col. 6:
On account of that million dollar rain we did not get any farther than Greensburg.
17 May 1893, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “The State Press,” pg. 4, col. 3:
The San Antonio Light reports a heavy rain:
It rained hard. It rained very hard. It rained hard and long. It rained a million dollar rain.
29 June 1893, The Daily Herald (Grand Forks, ND), “Nubs of News,” pg. 8, col. 2:
Yesterday’s rain was a million dollar rain for the farmers of the Red River Valley.
1 July 1893, Morning World-Herald (Omaha, NE), pg. 1, col. 5:
“A Million Dollar Rain.”
AURORA, Neb. June 30.—A heavy rain fell along the Burlington & Missouri from Ravenna here this morning, which will be of immense advantage to crops in this section.
11 December 1898, Los Angeles (CA) Sunday Times, “San Diego County,” sec. 3, pg. 15, col. 3:
A MILLION-DOLLAR RAIN.
Businessmen declare that yesterday’s rain was worth $1,000,000 to San Diego county/
American Farm Youth
That welcome rain that brings new life to your land, crops and livestock is the traditional “million-dollar rain” known to every farmer and rancher.
30 August 1947, The Billboard, “Missouri Really SHows ‘EM” by Frank B. Joerling, pg. 48, col. 1:
.. Friday and Saturday, the entire region around Sedalia had a much needed rainfall on each of those days, which was in fact a “million dollar rain” to that territory.
The Solace of Leaving Early:
By Haven Kimmel
New York, NY: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
“Million-dollar rain,” he said, smiling broadly.
“It’s an expression I used to hear growing up. Million-dollar rain. It means a good rain coming at a good time, not so close to planting as to wash away seeds, not too hard or too long, it’ll get right down into the groundwater and keep the roots happy until harvest time.” Langston said.
By P. J. Hoge
Bloomington, IN: iUniverse
“This is a million dollar rain,” Elton suggested.
“What’s a million dollar rain?” Byron asked.
“If it rains too hard, the water just washes down stream. A good long soaker like this gets a lot of moisture into the ground. Farmers call it a million dollar rain because it helps the crops in the spring.”
Life on the farm
Million Dollar Rain
Posted on August 5, 2013 by farm2011
When you get a rain in July or August, a lot of farmers say that it’s a ‘million dollar rain’. With the extremely wet spring that we’ve had, we also haven’t had much rain after the crops started to grow, so lately we’ve been begging for it to rain.
WBBJ-TV Eyewitness News (Jackson, TN)
Rain brings little relief for drought in Hardin County
June 27, 2016 by Chelsea Ambriz
“An old saying that farmers have is getting rains in a timely part of the year is called a ‘million dollar rain,’” said Brian White, the UT Extension agent for Hardin County.
Moderate drought conditions are affecting crop and livestock farmers across Hardin County.