South Texas crop losses could hit $100 million
Growers have planted an estimated 30,000 acres of corn and 410,000 acres of grain sorghum this year, Ribera said.
“We’re just not sure how helpful Sunday’s rains will be for growers in the immediate future,” he said. “Rainfall varied from 1 to 6 inches, so it depends on where the heaviest rains fell and what crops they fell on. It likely helped farmers on irrigated fields more than dryland fields.”
For irrigated farmers, the rains provided a free irrigation, Ribera said. And it helped wash the salinity out of the soil that had built up from irrigation water.
“For many dryland farmers who never saw their crops emerge, rains were likely too little too late,” he said. “But even if the rains helped an irrigated cotton farmer make it through the season, he or she likely won’t have enough irrigation water allocations for their fall crop.
“It’s just not looking good. We need a big rain event this summer to turn this drought around and start filling our reservoirs upriver at Falcon and Amistad dams.”