Texas climatologist expects hot, dry summer, relief in the fall
Coastal Bend: Cool weather persisted across most of the area, with some counties having well-below-freezing temperatures at night, warming into the mid-40s during the day. Light rain and mist were reported along with some sleet, but there was not enough precipitation to make a difference in soil moisture conditions — just enough to postpone planting. Cattle continued to need supplemental feed and hay.
East: Cold weather halted winter forage growth. Many areas received freezing rain and sleet. Producers were feeding hay and supplements. Hay supplies were becoming short in some counties. Producers marketed feeder calves. Beef cattle remained in good condition, though there were reports of cattle lice. Weather and soil conditions permitting, truck farmers worked seedbeds for planting early in the spring. Orchard owners were pruning fruit trees. Demand for firewood was up. Feral hog damage continued to be a problem for many landowners.
Far West: The area had extremely cold temperatures, with highs in the 20s and lows in the single digits. With no precipitation and high winds, pastures were dry. Livestock were in good condition with continued supplemental feeding and minerals. Calving continued.
North: After a cold and wet week, topsoil moisture across the region ranged from short to adequate. About 0.5 to 1 inch of rain was reported across the counties. A few counties even reported a little snow. Most wheat, small grains and winter pastures needed rain. A few producers were able to apply fertilizer, but more rain was needed to soak it in. Livestock producers continued supplemental feeding of cattle. Franklin County reported spring calves were starting to arrive. Some areas reported livestock stressed due to the cold and windy weather. Titus County reported problems with coyotes and hogs.
Panhandle: The region had extremely low temperatures and high winds, with from a trace of snow to as much as 5 inches or more in some areas. Lipscomb County received 8 inches of snow. The subzero temperatures and wind chill factors depleted soil moisture and halted farming activities. Deaf Smith County producers were putting out fertilizer in preparation for spring planting. Some liquid fertilizer was being applied to irrigated wheat fields after grazing. Stocker cattle numbers remained low due to the lack of wheat for grazing and very scant native pasture forages. Ranchers were very busy putting out feed and busting ice. Unfortunately, some cow/calf herds were calving in the subzero weather, with Dallam and Hartley counties reporting that ranchers were warming calves in pickups and barns.
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