Texas crop, weather: Winter wheat crop in trouble
North: Soils still remained very dry. Small grains and winter annual pastures needed rain. Most already-planted wheat had emerged and was looking good, but needed more rain to promote growth. The soybean and sorghum harvests were ongoing. In most counties, winter pasture was looking good. Some livestock producers began to turn weaned calves in to graze winter pastures. With no measurable runoff in the last 60 days in many places, livestock ponds were at critically low levels. Feral hogs were active, with damage reported in southern Kaufman County. Titus County had its first freeze.
Panhandle: Temperatures were above average most of the week, with no moisture reported. Soil-moisture levels mostly were very short to short. The corn, cotton and grain sorghum harvests continued. Planting of winter wheat continued. Rangeland and pastures mostly were in very poor to poor condition. Cattle were in good condition with continued supplemental feeding.
Rolling Plains: While the region got scattered showers, most everyone still needed more rain. The cotton harvest was in full swing. Some irrigated fields were producing good yields, but others were seeing below-average yields. Wheat and oats needed rain; fields looked stressed with some areas having died out. Cattle were in fair condition. Livestock producers were working remaining cattle. Pastures looked better going into winter this year than last.
South: Dry and windy conditions were the rule for the entire region during most of the week, with 40 to 100 percent short to very short soil-moisture levels in all counties. A cool front moved across the northern counties early in the week, bringing light rains, but not enough to improve soil-moisture levels. In Atascosa and Frio counties, wheat and oats were in good to fair condition. All crops were planted, and nearly all emerged. In Maverick County, forage sorghum and coastal Bermuda grass hay harvesting continued. Also in that area, nearly all grain sorghum was harvested. Zavala County cool-season vegetable growers were busy irrigating cabbage, carrots, spinach and onions. Harvesting of spinach—both for processing and the fresh market—and cabbage continued. In Cameron County, producers were harvesting sugarcane and irrigating onions. In Hidalgo County, the vegetable, citrus and sugarcane harvests were ongoing. In Starr County, growers were harvesting late cantaloupes. Rangeland and pasture conditions continued to decline there because of cooler temperatures and low soil moisture. Summer perennial grasses were going into dormancy. The northern half of McMullen County had good pasture conditions, but forage supplies were expected to be short for the winter months in the southern half of the county as severe drought conditions continued there. Most Webb County stock tanks remained dry. Cattle body condition scores were fair.
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