Statewide drought conditions decline as temperatures rise
COLLEGE STATION -- Rain continued to push back the Texas drought, with most of the northeastern, central, southeastern, and eastern parts of the state either out of the drought or merely abnormally dry, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor status report of March 27.
But as much as 67 percent of the state remained under one stage of drought or another, according to the monitor.
In comparison, as of Jan. 10, about 62 percent of the state was rated as being under severe to extreme drought. Though still high, it’s an improvement over nearly 70 percent being under severe to extreme drought on Jan. 3, and a vast improvement from October when 97 percent of the state was under severe to extreme drought.
In the April 2 report, all of the state remained unseasonably warm, according to this week’s reports by Texas AgriLife Extension Service personnel. The above-average temperatures were a mixed blessing. The warm days quickened the maturing of wheat and brought warm-season grasses out of dormancy early in some areas. In other regions that were not so fortunate to receive frequent rains, the warm weather further dried out soils.
AgriLife Extension district reporters compiled the following summaries for March 26 through April 2:
AgriLife Extension district reporters for the Southwest District, including Wilson, Gonzales, Guadalupe, and Bexar counties, reported showers brought further drought relief to pastures and rangeland. However, Uvalde County continued to remain in Stage II water restrictions. The condition of livestock was improving. Spring planting was in full swing. Farmers were fertilizing and spraying for weeds throughout the district.
AgriLife Extension district reporters for the Coastal Bend District, including Karnes County, reported the region received more rain on March 29, with light hail damage in some areas. Corn planting was mostly completed, while cotton planting was in full swing. In some areas, wet conditions held up planting. Rangeland and pastures continued to be dominated by cool-season forbs. Many producers were spraying herbicides to control the weeds and allow grasses room to respond. Producers in some areas continue to report problems with cattle bloating on pastures where there was lush growth of volunteer clover. Ponds were full, with some reports of excessive algae growth.
Compiled from Texas A&M University and Texas AgriLife Extension Service reports.