Cooler spring didn’t stop weed flushes — only delayed them
More information on the current Texas drought and wildfire alerts can be found on the AgriLife Extension Agricultural Drought Task Force website at http://agrilife.tamu.edu/drought/ .
AgriLife Extension district reporters compiled the following summaries for the week of July 1-7:
Central: The region was starting to dry up, with crops showing visible signs of drought stress. The corn silage harvest began. There were reports of prussic acid poisoning in cattle from johnsongrass and sorghum. Some mornings were unseasonably cool. Grasshoppers were unbelievably bad.
Coastal Bend: Recent rains greened up some areas, but came too late for many crops. Soils were dry again. The grain sorghum harvest was underway with less than average yields reported. Many fields did not make a crop. The corn harvest began. Soybeans made a good pod set but needed rain soon. Grasshopper populations were high in some areas. Ponds were very low or dry in many areas. There were reports of cattle deaths due to toxic pond water conditions. Fish deaths due to low pond levels were also reported. Pecan yields were down from last year.
East: All counties showed signs of drought. High heat dried out soils, sharply reducing plant vigor. Pasture grasses were stressed with very slow regrowth. Grasshoppers were becoming an increasingly persistent problem. Some pond levels were as low as they were during the 2011 drought, and many creeks have stopped running. Hay sales were very slow. Cooler temperatures during the week allowed more vegetables to be harvested from gardens and sold at local markets. Cattle remained in good condition. Feral hog damage was reported.
Far West: Showers early in the reporting period yielded from a trace to 1.5 inches of rain. Daytime highs were in the mid to upper 70s the first part of week but later rose into the 90s. Dryland cotton farmers were working with crop-insurance adjusters. Most dryland cotton will be zeroed out this year, but irrigated cotton was doing well. Livestock producers were providing supplemental feed and hoping for rain.
North: Soil moisture was very short to adequate, and some counties were in desperate need of rain. Where there were rains earlier, Bermuda grass pastures were doing well, and some hay meadows were almost ready for a second cutting to be taken. Hay supplies remained very good. Sunflowers were in very good condition. The oat harvest was completed. Peanuts were in poor condition. Most wheat was harvested with reports of above-average yields. Grain sorghum was in good condition with all of the crop headed out and turning color. Corn was developing well, and cotton looked good. Livestock across the region were in good condition, with early spring-born calves heavy and being weaned. Pond levels were falling. Grasshopper pressure continued as the population increased.