Jack Frost continues to take bites out of Texas wheat
Miller said that dryland wheat farmers who had extensive damage don’t have many options.
“They get only one shot at a crop, and then they’re done due to the very dry soils,” he said. “They had a marginal crop to begin with because of the drought, but some may at least hay it or graze it.”
Irrigated wheat farmers have more options.
“Their biggest interest is to get their crop insurance adjustment as fast as they can,” Miller said. “On the irrigated fields, they still have time to plant an irrigated crop if they kill this wheat and get it off the field, and plant right into it with cotton, sunflowers, sesame, sorghum or another crop.”
More information on the current Texas drought and wildfire alerts can be found on the AgriLife Extension Agricultural Drought Task Force website at http://agrilife.tamu.edu/drought/ .
AgriLife Extension district reporters compiled the following summaries for the week of April 15-22:
Central: The region still needed substantial rains because soil moisture was poor in many areas and stock water tanks low. Corn and sorghum were in good condition because of warmer weather, and oats and wheat were headed out. Livestock were also in good condition. Wheat and oats that suffered freeze damage were being harvested for forage and/or silage. Generally, only low-lying wheat was damaged from the late freeze. Bermuda grass and other warm-season forages were growing where there was adequate soil moisture. In McLennan County, about 10 percent of the wheat crop was significantly affected by the freeze.
Coastal Bend: Parts of the region had light rains with a few heavy, isolated downpours, but much of the area continued to suffer drought conditions. Rice fields were being replanted due to the downpours. Cotton stands were skimpy; a substantial portion was dry-planted and had not emerged. In some counties, cotton had to be replanted as well. Corn has been slow to grow due to cooler-than-normal weather. Winter wheat was fully headed out, and its harvest should begin within about six weeks. Soybeans were being planted at a fast pace as farmers strove to finish before a forecast rain. Ponds remain low or dry in most areas. Rangeland and pastures were in fair to poor condition. Some producers were feeding hay and supplements, while many were culling herds. Most pecan trees were budding.
East: Most counties received rain ahead of a cold front. Cooler nighttime temperatures slowed the growth of warm-season forages. Light frost occurred in low-lying areas. Many counties had freeze damage early to field corn, but the crop appeared to have mostly recovered. Wheat was not freeze damaged and is nearly all headed out. Producers were still assessing freeze damage to blueberries and peaches. On average, temperatures were about 10 degrees below normal for April. Strong winds continued to dry out soils. Cattle remained in good to excellent condition. Most livestock producers ceased feeding hay. Calves were growing well, and the condition of mother cows improved with better grazing. Farmers and ranchers were vaccinating cattle, working new-crop calves, and culling herds. Feral hog damage continued to be reported.