Texas crop update: wheat below normal
Southeast: San Jacinto County had cooler soil temperatures that slowed the growth of summer forages, but winter forages such as oats, wheat, annual rye and various clovers were doing well. Waller County also had cooler and drier weather. Burleson County’s dry conditions returned. Armyworms caused minor damage in oat and ryegrass pastures. Orange County continued to have dry conditions that limited late-season grass development. There were talks of instigating a burn ban following the last hard frost.
Southwest: Dry conditions persisted. Livestock producers continued to provide supplemental feed to cattle. Farmers were preparing fields for spring planting.
Coastal Bend: Eastern counties had rain and warmer temperatures. The rain halted planting in some eastern counties. The western part of the region continued to experience drought conditions, and very few farmers were fertilizing fields as there was scant stored soil moisture to sustain a crop. Livestock producers in most areas continued to provide supplemental feed to cattle, hay or protein or both. Where pastures were limited, the culling of herds continued. Washington County ryegrass and oat pastures showed some growth. Volunteer ryegrass sprouted in many areas as a result of recent rainfall and warmer weather. In Colorado County, winter wheat had emerged but not yet set seed. In DeWitt County, corn planting began. Soil moisture was adequate there, but more rain was needed. San Patricio County livestock were in relatively good condition despite short forages. The soil moisture profile in most of the county was still very dry. In Wharton County, topsoil moisture levels were rated fair. Farmers were fertilizing corn fields, with planting expected to begin soon.
South: Very dry and windy weather continued, with warmer than usual daytime temperatures. Nights were on the cool side. Soil-moisture levels were mostly short to very short throughout the eastern, western and southern counties. In the northern part of the region, recent rains helped green up rangeland and pastures. Most of the southern part of the region did not receive any significant rain. In Frio County, potatoes emerged, and wheat and oats were in fair condition. In Jim Wells County, ample moisture helped row crops a little, but more rain was needed to really promote establishment. Maverick County wheat was doing well under irrigation. In Zavala County, very dry conditions have stressed dryland wheat and oats. Producers with irrigation were watering winter vegetables such as spinach, cabbage, onions and carrots. Also in that area, the harvesting of processed and fresh-market spinach was very active, while some cabbage fields were not quite ready for harvesting. In Hidalgo County, farmers were busy planting corn and grain sorghum, and were almost finished planting sunflowers. In Starr County, spring vegetable and row-crop planting was under way. In Willacy County, growers began planting grain sorghum the second week of February, and some of the crop had already emerged. Ranchers continued supplemental feeding of livestock. Where there was rain, stock-tank water levels increased a little, but tanks in other areas, such as Webb County, still needed heavy runoff to refill those that were dry or nearly dry.