Torrential rain benefits crops in Texas
South Plains: The region had very warm temperatures, with highs in the upper 90s and gusty winds blowing dirt. Parts of Crosby County received isolated showers. A few cotton growers in Crosby County began planting. Cotton planting was expected to shift into high gear within a week. Garza County also received scattered showers midweek, from a trace to 0.2 inch. Wind and high temperatures dried out forages that were trying to grow with the snow moisture received a few months ago. Rangeland and pastures were declining. Some livestock producers were moving cattle to deferred pastures, or increasing supplemental feeding where that option was not available. Hockley County reported soil temperatures were high enough for cotton planting. However, some producers were waiting for more moisture before making cropping decisions. Cochran County producers began planting dryland cotton and peanuts even though subsoil and topsoil moisture was very low. Winter wheat, pasture and range remained extremely dry. Floyd County producers began planting cotton and heavily irrigating. Scurry County received from 0.4 inch to 2 inches of rain, depending on the location. In Swisher County, wheat progressed enough with added irrigation to give some farmers a chance to have a grain crop. Others were cutting triticale for hay. Dryland wheat is considered to be at least a 70 percent loss in most cases.
Southeast: Soil moisture throughout the region varied widely. In most counties it was adequate, though some counties reported it to be 100 percent very short. Rangeland and pasture ratings varied widely too, from very poor to excellent, with good to fair ratings being the most common. Much of the area remained dry, and as daytime temperatures increased, grazing and crops were likely to deteriorate. There were exceptions, however. Parts of Montgomery County received from 0.5 to nearly 2 inches of rain. Orange County also received scattered rains, which improved soil moisture and stimulated forage growth. Waller County producers took advantage of the dry conditions to harvest hay. Brazos County farmers started to irrigate corn, cotton, sorghum and soybeans. Small-grain fields there were fully headed and turning color. Cool-season grasses were being baled. Warm-season grasses had yet to come on.
Southwest: Dry, warm and windy weather was the general rule for the area, with some scattered showers occurring in about 10 percent of the region. In most cases, the showers did not amount to much. Soils and rangeland were very dry, and grasses and field crops were showing signs of drought stress. Cotton and grain sorghum emerged only with the aid of irrigation. Livestock remained in good condition.
Source: Texas A&M
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