Conditions normal: hot and dry with high winds, hammering hail
By Robert Burns
COLLEGE STATION -- There’s good news and bad news when it comes to vegetable and melon production in the Winter Garden area of Southwest Texas, according to a Texas AgriLife Extension Service expert.
The situation is becoming reminiscent of last fall, when growers worried if they’d have enough water to plant and to get crops emerged, he said.
Conditions varied widely in the rest of the state, according to weekly reports from AgriLife Extension county agents. Parts of North and East Texas were in excellent to good shape, with rains filling stock tanks and promoting crop growth.
Parts of the Panhandle, South Plains, and Rolling Plains also received some rain, but in many cases it was accompanied by high winds and damaging hail. In Hale County, north of Lubbock, hail hammered about a quarter of the county’s 400,000 acres of cotton.
In Deaf Smith County, southwest of Amarillo, about 1,500 acres of cotton were hailed out, according to Rick Auckerman, AgriLife Extension county agent. About 1,000 acres of cotton were lost the week before to hail.
AgriLife Extension district reporters compiled the following summaries:
AgriLife Extension district reporters for the Southwest District, including Wilson, Gonzales, Guadalupe, and Bexar counties, reported no rain, extreme heat, and moderate winds exacerbated the drought. Grain sorghum began to change color, with most of the crop in good to very good condition. Corn was also performing well, and was in good to very good condition. Sunflower growers were harvesting, and yields appeared to be good. The peach crop was on schedule. Livestock and wildlife in the Hill Country benefited from grass and forbs that greened up after recent rains. Elsewhere, pastures continued to suffer from high temperatures and dry conditions.
Robert Burns has nearly 30 years’ experience writing about agriculture and agricultural-related research. He writes about Texas AgriLife Research and Texas AgriLife Extension Service activities at the Overton Center and centers in Stephenville and Temple.