You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.
Recent rains further alleviate drought
COLLEGE STATION -- Though much of the state remained in one stage of drought or another, rains during the last few weeks greatly alleviated the severity of the drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor and reports from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service personnel.
About 87 percent of the state was still categorized as being abnormally dry to under exceptional drought on Oct. 22, according to the monitor. However, less than 1 percent was under exceptional drought conditions compared to more than 6 percent three months ago.
During the same time, extreme drought dropped from nearly 22 percent to about 4 percent, and severe drought from 39 percent to about 19 percent.
Though many areas are still suffering, the drought distinctions are important, according to AgriLife Extension agent reports. The recent rains have raised soil-moisture levels, making feasible the dryland planting of wheat and small grains for grazing. The added moisture also improved the prospects for the 2014 crop year.
The cotton harvest continued in the South Plains and in the Panhandle.
J.D. Ragland, AgriLife Extension agent in Randall County, south of Amarillo, reported irrigated cotton yields there were averaging two to three bales per acre. Dryland yields weren’t shabby either, hovering around one to 1.5 bales per acre.
The Rolling Plains cotton harvest was slow to start, with it just beginning on irrigated acres. Dryland cotton there was looking very bad, as reported by Langdon Reagan, AgriLife Extension agent in Wilbarger County, near Wichita Falls.
A common observation was that rains also replenished low pond and stock-water tank levels. Only last month, low stock water was a common concern in many areas. There were still reports from Central Texas and Coastal Bend areas of low water levels.
Another promising development was that though cooler temperatures slowed warm-season forage growth, many producers were able to take another hay cutting. In the South region, the rains improved pastures and rangeland to the point that producers were able to suspend supplemental feeding of livestock.
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
Beef Cattle Management seminar (August 26, 2015)
Cotton root rot and its symptoms (August 26, 2015)
Feral hogs, water workshop (August 26, 2015)
Get acquainted with 4-H event (August 26, 2015)
Harvey places in top 20 (August 26, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (August 26, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (August 26, 2015)
Mobile app for hunting regs (August 26, 2015)
Registration for cattle conference (August 26, 2015)
Survey deadline (August 26, 2015)
Turkey fed to improve Texas grasslands (August 26, 2015)
Wilson County 4-H Council, Booster meetings, Sept. 2 (August 26, 2015)
Anthrax confirmed in equine in Uvalde County (August 19, 2015)
Deer association: Environmental group deceives deer industry, wildlife community (August 19, 2015)
Don’t miss your shot! Apply for drawn hunts (August 19, 2015)
Feral hog management workshop is Sept. 4 (August 19, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (August 19, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (August 19, 2015)
Prospects bright for dove season (August 19, 2015)
Saving tomatoes from the Texas heat (August 19, 2015)
Siblings make rodeo memories (August 19, 2015)
TDA Market Report (August 19, 2015)
Chagas disease in South Central Texas (August 12, 2015)
Eastern equine encephalitis cases reported in Texas (August 12, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (August 12, 2015)
Leaf-dropping is common (August 12, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (August 12, 2015)
New, stronger El Niño may bring another wet winter (August 12, 2015)
Pieniazek elected president of ag education leadership (August 12, 2015)
EPA ‘muddies’ Clean Water Act (August 5, 2015)
Hay & Forage Report (August 5, 2015)
It’s a ‘banner’ summer for Payton! (August 5, 2015)
Lantanas losing luster; mosquitoes a bother (August 5, 2015)
Livestock Market Reports (August 5, 2015)
Meuths receive Bronze Merit Award (August 5, 2015)
Shoot to benefit Don Newbury (August 5, 2015)
TDA Market Report (August 5, 2015)
August 2015 Gardening Calendar (August 1, 2015)