Fifty percent chance of La Niña's return
AgriLife Extension district reporters compiled the following summaries:
Central: The drought continued. Hay supplies were very short, cattle were being sold, and pastures and crops were burning up. Trees were showing signs of severe stress. All hay being fed was imported from other states. Stock-tank water levels were very low which was expected to cause the sale of more livestock. Cotton began to show signs of severe moisture distress. Insects and wildlife were searching for moisture and encroaching upon urban areas.
Coastal Bend: Dry and windy conditions persisted, worsening the drought. The cotton harvest continued with fair yields reported. The soybean harvest was nearly completed. Most ponds were extremely low or completely dry. Ranchers continued to supply supplemental feed and water to livestock. Large amounts of hay were being brought in from out of state. Herds were being reduced or sold out entirely.
East: Daytime temperatures in the triple digits and a lack of rain caused the drought to worsen. Water resources drastically receded or dried up completely. Some communities put water-use restrictions into place. Little to no hay has been cut. Producers were looking elsewhere for hay to buy. Some producers have gone as far as the Dakotas trying to find hay. Culling and liquidation of herds continued. Livestock under supplemental feeding were in fair condition. Burn bans remained in place throughout the region.
Far West: Conditions remained hot and dry across the region. Burn bans were still in effect. Pecan and hay producers were irrigating and fertilizing their crops. Pecans were coming out of the water stage and entering the gel stage, but individual trees showed signs of heat stress. Very low wilt and insect pressure was reported on cotton. Pastures and rangeland grasses were super dry and brittle.
North: Conditions continued to worsen. Soil-moisture levels were extremely short, with record high temperatures for the week. Several days of record-breaking temperatures were recorded, overturning highs since recordkeeping began in 1892. Daytime temperatures were in the 100-plus range for days, and nighttime lows in the 80s. The corn harvest was about 90 percent complete, and the grain sorghum harvest was about 50 percent to 60 percent complete. Yields for corn appeared to be about average, and the same held true for grain sorghum. With the extreme heat, pastures were rapidly depleted. Cotton, rice and peanuts were all in very poor condition. Hay was in short supply, and many livestock producers were trying to locate hay to buy. Corn and grain sorghum producers were baling stalks. Stock-water ponds were getting extremely low. Most soybeans were baled or being baled for hay. Since no relief from drought was promised, ranchers further culled herds, resulting in large runs at sale barns. In Van Zandt County, livestock were still being accepted despite news reports that sale barns were requiring appointments. Feral hogs continued to be out of control.