Central Texas wheat took a freeze hit, but it could be worse
North: Soil-moisture levels were adequate to surplus as rain fell across the region improving pastures. Livestock were in good condition, and producers were taking full advantage of growing ryegrass and wheat winter pastures and slowing supplemental feeding. The freeze on March 25 likely damaged some of the wheat, but where there was no freeze, the wheat looked good. Corn growers were nearly finished planting. Farmers were planting grain sorghum, but were slowed by the recent rains.
Panhandle: Temperatures were all over the board, at first near average, then falling below average for a couple of days and then rising above average by week’s end. Soil-moisture levels were very short to adequate, with most counties reporting short to adequate. Producers were going full tilt preparing fields for planting. Those spreading compost and manure were finishing up, and commercial fertilizers were being applied with ground rigs and through the pivot systems. Wheat was in from very poor to good condition, with most areas reporting fair to poor. Greenbug and spider mite populations exploded with the warm, dry weather. Aerial applicators and ground rigs were busy as the weather permitted in trying to slow down these pests. Additional woes for the wheat crop were the frequent up-and-down temperatures, with some areas getting freeze damage. Cattle remained in fair condition. Cattle on wheat were making excellent gains.
Rolling Plains: Parts of the region received from a trace up to 4 inches of rain, but most counties needed more moisture. Pastures were in fair to good condition, but with the past two years of drought, it was expected to be a while before they fully returned to normal. Livestock were also largely in good condition, but some producers continued to provide supplemental feed. In some areas, hay supplies were depleted, but producers planted wheat in hopes of harvesting it as hay to replace stocks. Some producers were debating whether to plant cotton or Haygrazer as they were concerned whether hay supplies will remain short and prices high. Damage from the March 25 and 26 freezes — when temperatures reached a low of 25 degrees — was showing up from scouting. It was still too early to tell the full extent of the damage. The peach crop was also damaged by freeze; some of the crop may have survived due to buds not being fully opened. Bluebonnets were blooming along roadsides.