Grasshoppers break out — but not as much as 2011
South Plains: Thunderstorms rumbled through the region, bringing much-needed moisture. Unfortunately, the storms also brought hail and high winds. In between the storms, the wind was blowing dirt, and many producers were in sand-fighting mode. Rain accumulations varied greatly from county to county and even farm to farm. There were reports of as little as 0.6 inch to as much as 4 inches. A lot of cotton will have to be replanted due to wind and or hail damage. Estimates of 25,000 to 30,000 acres were lost in southeast Lubbock County alone. Some dryland cotton fields were released by insurance adjusters, while other fields hung in the balance because though they have a stand, there is only moisture in the top few inches of soil. Loss determinations were ongoing. Many producers will plant back with forage sorghum or sunflowers. Rangeland and pasture conditions were improving where there was substantial rain. Cattle remained in mostly fair to good condition and were expected to improve after a couple of weeks with additional forage growth. The storms also hampered the winter wheat harvest. Peanuts were looking good.
Southeast: Summer was in full force in Brazos County. Growing conditions were good in Walker County. Dry conditions in Burleson County were withering pasture grasses. Grasshoppers were a problem in untreated pastures. Chambers County reported a few showers, with crops in good condition. Fort Bend County received scattered rain showers. High temperatures were in the 90s and lows in the low 60s. Orange County had sporadic rains, but soil moisture was adequate, which along with hot weather supported vigorous forage growth.
Southwest: Conditions were generally warmer and drier than the week before, though some areas received 2 inches of rain. Crops were doing well, particularly irrigated crops, but even much of dryland corn and grain sorghum was expected to make a crop, with some above-average yields predicted. Hay producers were cutting Sudan, Klein and coastal Bermuda grasses. Cattle were doing well on rangelands with very little supplementation. Grasshoppers were a severe problem in some pastures and gardens.
West Central: Though some scattered showers were reported, generally the district remained hot, dry and windy. Some counties initiated burn bans. Cotton growers continued planting as crop insurance deadlines approached. Rain delayed planting in some areas. Most wheat was harvested. Where there had been rain, summer forage crops were off to a good start with good growth, and rangeland and pastures improved. Livestock remained in fair to good condition, but herd numbers were low with very little restocking. Many stock ponds and tanks remained critically low and some producers continued to haul water. A few areas received rain to produce sufficient runoff to fill ponds and stock tanks to capacity. Pecan growers were irrigating orchards.
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