Torrential rain benefits crops in Texas
Rolling Plains: The drought worsened. Thunderstorms built up around the region but moved off quickly, bringing only wind, clouds and a trace of moisture. High temperatures climbed toward the triple digits, and topsoil was blown away and forages desiccated. Much of the winter wheat crop was baled for hay or grazed out. Wheat left to produce grain was in poor to fair condition. Estimated yields ranged from 4 to 20 bushels per acre. Livestock were in fair condition, but with pastures and wheat grazing playing out, producers were facing the inevitable: selling off what cattle they had left. Farmers were readying for planting, but without any soil moisture, they’ll just be wasting seed in the ground. As drought conditions persisted, area towns were facing water restrictions.
South: The region had warm to hot days and persistently high winds. The region did have some rainfall, from light showers to as much as 4 inches in some areas. In the northern part of the region, oats were 100 percent headed and in excellent condition. Winter wheat, corn and sorghum were in fair condition, with harvesting beginning in some counties. Potato harvesting was in full swing, and peanut growers were preparing fields for planting. Supplemental feeding of livestock continued at a steady pace in McMullen County. Although recent rains helped, without more rain soon to improve grazing, McMullen County ranchers expected to have to liquidate herds. In the eastern part of the region, as much as 3 inches of rain was received in some areas. Rangeland and pasture conditions ranged from fair to poor. Soil moisture varied from 100 percent adequate to 40 percent short. Wheat was 100 percent headed and in fair condition. All corn had emerged, with 5 percent silking. Sorghum was in fair condition. In Kleberg and Kenedy counties, 15 percent of cotton was squaring. The western part of the region remained mostly dry. Soil moisture was mostly adequate throughout the area except for Dimmit County, where it was rated short. Rangeland and pastures remained in fair to poor condition. Farmers continued planting sorghum for forage and grain and cutting coastal Bermuda grass for hay. Wheat and oat harvesting was active. The spinach season ended. Onion harvesting began in the middle of the week, and corn and cotton under irrigation were progressing well. Pecan trees began setting nuts, and producers were scouting for the first generation of case bearers. In the southern part of the region, warm and windy weather continued, no rainfall was reported, except in Willacy County, which received 1 inch to 1.5 inches. Soil moisture conditions ranged from short to 70 percent adequate. Rangeland and pastures were in fair condition, and supplemental feeding of livestock ceased due to good grazing. Irrigation was ongoing on corn and sorghum. In some areas, grain sorghum was changing color. Cotton and all vegetable crops were progressing well. In Starr County, onion harvesting continued as well as hay baling and buffel grass seed harvesting. In Willacy County, the majority of the sorghum crops had headed and began changing color.