Grasshoppers break out — but not as much as 2011
Coastal Bend: There were scattered showers in some areas, but hot days and windy weather dried out soils. In most instances, the rains came too little and too late to significantly impact row crop production. Corn and grain sorghum farmers were readying for harvest. Later-planted grain sorghum showed signs of stress and needed a rain soon. Producers continued to make hay in some areas. Pasture conditions improved, but were deteriorating quickly due to the high winds and temperatures. Grasshoppers in pastures and hay meadows reached treatable levels. Ponds remained low or dry in many counties.
East: Rain fell across the region, with some northern and southern counties of the region receiving as much as 2 inches, while central areas got 0.5 inch or less. Some counties were 5 inches below normal on rainfall for the year, and crops were showing signs of moisture stress. Those counties that received rain reported good grass growth and crop yields. Vegetable gardens were producing enough for farmers to sell at local markets. Hay yields depended upon recent rains. Producers were controlling brush and weeds. Livestock producers were weaning and selling market-ready calves. Cattle were in good condition. Reports of horn fly infestations were increasing. Feral hogs were active.
Far West: Some areas received from a trace to 1.3 inches of rain. In some cases hail, from pea-sized to 0.25 inch in diameter, accompanied the rain. Generally, weather continued to be hot, dry and windy. Cotton was progressing well, and fall onions were being harvested. Alfalfa growers were taking the third cutting. Ranchers who received rain were holding onto cattle while those who didn’t were beginning to sell.
North: Soil-moisture levels ranged from short to adequate. Some counties received rain, which benefited pastures, corn, grain sorghum and soybeans. However, the rains also delayed the finishing of the wheat harvest. An estimated 80 percent of wheat has been harvested, with good yields, ranging from 60 to 80 bushels per acre. Corn was tassling and looked good in most areas. Sorghum was reported to be in really good condition, as were sunflowers. Cotton emerged and was in good condition too. Ryegrass was being baled up for hay in some areas. Livestock were in good condition, and spring calves were rapidly growing. Some counties still needed runoff to recharge stock-water tanks. Grasshopper pressure was high, and feral hogs were causing severe damage in some areas.
Panhandle: Temperatures were near average. Most of the area received from a trace to 3 inches of rain, which allowed some growers to shut down irrigation systems for at least a few days. Producers were dodging hail and dealing with very high winds much of the week. There were reports of wind damage to buildings and center-pivot systems. Corn and cotton continued to be rated mostly fair to good. There was some green up of rangeland and pastures, but both continued to be rated mostly very poor.