Fifty percent chance of La Niña's return
Panhandle: The region remained hot and mostly dry. Some counties reported receiving from a trace to 1 inch of rain. Soil moisture continued to be mostly very poor, and crops were suffering. Producers were diverting water from corn to other crops and less acres. Cotton was in mostly poor to very poor condition. Rangeland and pastures continued to decline. Cattlemen were culling deeper into their herds and trying to find other states with grazing available, where they could ship their cattle.
Rolling Plains: Conditions remained extremely hot and dry, with temperatures surpassing 100 degrees on a daily basis and no moisture. Pastures, crops, livestock and residents were all suffering. Most of this year’s cotton crop was already “disastered-out” for crop insurance, with only irrigated cotton left. And some irrigated cotton was beginning to show signs of playing out with plants blooming at the tops. Farmers couldn’t put enough water out to meet the crops’ needs. Pastures also were in bad condition. Two large area ranches secured leases in Wyoming and Nebraska, and planned to move more than half their brood herds to those areas. Other producers were liquidating herds as the drought lagged on. Forages that had been planted and germinated died. Producers that still had cattle were moving them around trying to find greener grass and feeding supplements on a daily basis. Many ranchers who had already culled cattle and shipped calves early were still trying to hold on to a few head in hopes some relief will come soon. Many producers had not yet begun to prepare their fields for wheat planting. Pecan trees and fruit trees were being watered.
South: Extremely hot temperatures continued to torture rangeland, pastures, crops and livestock throughout the entire region. The northern counties reported highs of 100 to 104 degrees. Soil-moisture levels remained very short throughout most counties. The exceptions were Hidalgo County, where they were 40 percent adequate, and Willacy County with 75 percent adequate. Rangeland and pastures were in desperate need of rain to help recuperate from poor to very poor conditions. Livestock producers continued to search for supplemental feed sources as hay supplies continued to decline. Amazingly, overall cattle body-condition scores were still fair. Many ranchers were selling out completely, especially in Webb and Live Oak counties. Irrigated cotton and peanuts were progressing well in the Atascosa County area. In Jim Wells County, the cotton harvest was approximately 95 percent finished. Cotton harvesting was also wrapped up in Live Oak County, with yields of one to 1.5 bales per acre. In Zavala County, growers were off to a good start preplanting cabbage, onion, spinach and other cool-season vegetables under heavy irrigation. In Cameron and Hidalgo counties, the cotton harvesting was ongoing, and sugarcane growers were actively irrigating because of 100-plus degree temperatures.