West Texas and Coastal Bend ag producers facing challenges
South Plains: On Jan. 24, Lubbock County had a low of 9 degrees and a high of 53. Still no precipitation throughout the region, and dryland winter wheat was suffering. Pasture and rangeland was also in need of moisture as the drought continued to deplete the soil profile. Almost all counties reported the cotton harvest was completed, with the exception of Scurry County, where the harvest was just winding up. Producers were completing general fieldwork to prepare for the upcoming planting season.
Southeast: The entire region had freezing weather, often accompanied with sleet and freezing rain. The cold, windy and wet conditions were hard on crops and livestock. Soil moisture throughout the region varied widely, mostly in the adequate range, with some counties reporting from 40 percent short to as much as 100 percent surplus. Rangeland and pasture ratings varied widely too, from poor to excellent, with fair to good ratings being the most common.
Southwest: The region had temperatures dropping down into the 20s and 30s on Jan. 24. Accompanying windy conditions with ice accumulations led to hazardous driving conditions. Soil moisture continued to be low; even winter weeds weren’t growing. Producers were finishing up spring wheat plantings. Dryland wheat and oats were showing signs of stress. The unpredictable weather was hard on livestock, but generally cattle remained in fair condition with supplemental feeding.
West Central: Dry, windy, droughty conditions continued, and the wildfire risk was extremely high. Temperatures fluctuated from warm to extremely cold, with no precipitation reported. The up-and-down temperature swings were hard on livestock and crops. Some fieldwork was being done. Producers were cutting cotton stalks and plowing fields to prepare for spring planting. The cotton harvest was completed in most areas. Dryland cotton yields were fair and irrigated yields good. Winter wheat continued to struggle because of lack of moisture. Rangeland and pasture conditions further deteriorated. Livestock remained in fair condition with supplemental feeding. Because of poor grazing, additional protein and hay were a must for all livestock. All area stock water tank levels were low.
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