You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.
Most of the state winners because of tropical storm rain
COLLEGE STATION -- There are always winners and losers from storm systems in Texas; the week of Sept. 16, practically everyone in agriculture won, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agronomist.
In that time, most of the state received much-needed rain as Hurricane Ingrid and Tropical Storm Manuel pushed moisture northward from Mexico and the Gulf, improving agricultural prospects throughout the state, said Dr. Travis Miller, AgriLife Extension agronomist and Texas A&M University soil and crop sciences associate department head.
“And with this tropical storm system, it was particularly effective because we had a cold front pushing in from the north and holding the moisture there,” he said. “If you look at a map of the rainfall, there was a line from the Big Bend area all the way to Texarkana and south, where the cold front hit the Gulf moisture and dumped a lot of rain.”
Practically everyone got some rain. Some got only a trace, but receiving 3-4 inches was common, with 6 inches not that uncommon, according to National Weather Service records. Some areas along the coast got 10 inches or more.
Some areas got considerably less, according to the weather service and AgriLife Extension county agent weekly reports. In the South Plains and parts of West Texas, amounts varied from a trace to 1 inch, but that was welcomed too. In East Texas, while many counties got 6 inches or considerably more, San Augustine County reported it had gone 56 days without rain.
There were few downsides to the rain, other than some delay of cotton harvesting in the Coastal Bend and Blacklands areas. But even then, most of the cotton was already harvested, Miller said.
The moisture was a great boon on many fronts. In the northern parts of the state, it will help finish cotton, he said. And throughout Texas, it will greatly improve the prospects for planting of winter wheat and other forages for winter pasture. The added moisture should also be a big help to winter vegetables in South Texas and the Lower Rio Grande Valley.
For many livestock producers who have been cautious about rebuilding herds up from historical lows despite high market prices, the September rains would no doubt promote optimism, Miller noted.
But he warned that as good as the rains are, historically, it’s no guarantee the drought cycle is broken.
“Last year, we had a rain on Sept. 29, then no rain until Christmas, and (consequently) we had no winter pasture,” he said. “This year will be analogous to that if we don’t see weather patterns develop to give more moisture.”
However, the tropical storm and hurricane season isn’t technically over until November, Miller said, which gives reason to continue to be optimistic, though cautiously so.
AgriLife Extension district reporters compiled the following summaries:
AgriLife Extension district reporters for the Southwest District, including Wilson, Gonzales, Guadalupe, and Bexar counties, reported most of the region received 1.5 to 6 inches of rain with cooler temperatures. Armyworms continued to be a problem in some areas. Producers were planting winter wheat and oats. Cotton remained in good condition. Rangeland and pastures improved. As a result of improved forages, the decline in livestock condition slowed, with the possibility of improvement in the coming weeks.
AgriLife Extension district reporters for the Coastal Bend District, including Karnes County, reported substantial rains improved soil-moisture levels, but made harvesting of remaining cotton difficult. However, the harvest was nearly completed before the rain. Some producers were either preparing ground for planting oats for winter grazing -- or had already planted. Livestock producers continued supplemental feeding of hay in some areas. Rangeland and pasture conditions were described as “dismal at best” in some areas. However, if rains continued to come, winter pastures, wheat, and oats most likely will improve.
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.
Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post a comment.
Agriculture Today Archives
Bull Classic Dec. 5 (November 25, 2015)
Davidson: Reduce antibiotic use, dispel beef myths (November 25, 2015)
EPA proposes changes to pesticide applicator rules (November 25, 2015)
Farm Bureau responds to beef cancer claims (November 25, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (November 25, 2015)
Livestock disaster funding available (November 25, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (November 25, 2015)
Llama competitors shine in state, national shows (November 25, 2015)
Plan to attend grazing lands conference (November 25, 2015)
Plant cool weather veggies (November 25, 2015)
Rancher’s Choice bull sale Dec. 5 (November 25, 2015)
Skills team places sixth (November 25, 2015)
TPWD announces annual trout stocking (November 25, 2015)
All Breed Bull Sale Nov. 21 in Nixon (November 18, 2015)
Clean Water Rule continues to make waves in Congress (November 18, 2015)
Conservation Service: Tips for planting winter pastures (November 18, 2015)
County committee elections begin (November 18, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (November 18, 2015)
Here’s the beef: Patterson wins FFA national title (November 18, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (November 18, 2015)
Moczygemba: Angus group CEO (November 18, 2015)
Onion recommendations (November 18, 2015)
A river runs through it: River changes spark border dispute (November 11, 2015)
Cold-sensitive oriental hibiscus (November 11, 2015)
Gov. Abbott: EPA’s Clean Power Plan is ‘power grab’ (November 11, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (November 11, 2015)
Knowles winner of mule deer hunt package (November 11, 2015)
Letter: A war on Texas: Bureau of Land Management vs. Texas ranchers (November 11, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (November 11, 2015)
Palo Alto College hosts FFA leadership conference (November 11, 2015)
Rodeo athletes place in Hallettsville contest (November 11, 2015)
‘Old Iron’ club show canceled! (November 11, 2015)
Antique Farm Equipment Demonstration and Field Day, Nov. 14 (November 4, 2015)
Cattlemen’s seminar Nov. 14 in Kosciusko (November 4, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (November 4, 2015)
Impacts of rural land loss (November 4, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (November 4, 2015)
Rain can be blessing, curse for farmers (November 4, 2015)
Ranch Rodeo fun in Nixon (November 4, 2015)
Ranching event set for Nov. 11 in Panna Maria (November 4, 2015)
Tips for spraying broccoli, cabbage (November 4, 2015)
Wet winter, spring is good news for hunters (November 4, 2015)
November 2015 Gardening Calendar (November 1, 2015)