Dog days of summer continue with drier conditions
COLLEGE STATION -- Except for a few isolated areas, the entire state received some rain in the last seven days, from barely a trace to as much as 2 inches in parts of the Panhandle and West Central Texas, according to the National Weather Service.
For most, the moisture received was not enough to prevent soils from drying out as the dog days of summer wound down, according to the following reports by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agents throughout the state.
“August heat plus some winds have zapped a lot of the moisture on the topsoil profile we have been enjoying,” said Andy Holloway of Hemphill County, northeast of Amarillo. “Pastures that are overgrazed most particularly are getting very dry again. Overall, the summer has been excellent with above average moisture and cooler temperatures for the most part.”
“Hot dry days have really taken a toll on soil moisture,” said Justin Gilliam of Archer County, south of Wichita Falls. “Areas of the county did receive some rain this week but more is needed. Lake levels are still extremely low.”
“Very hot and dry conditions have stopped all hay operations and put our pastures in fire danger,” said Wade Hibler of Burnet County, northwest of Austin.
“If drought-like conditions persist,” said Austin Kirmer of Uvalde County, west of San Antonio, “livestock herds will have to be culled back to adapt.”
AgriLife Extension district reporters compiled the following summaries:
AgriLife Extension district reporters for the South District, including Atascosa County, reported that in the northern part of the district, extremely hot temperatures took a toll on rangeland and pastures. Crops, though, were doing well with the help of irrigation. Atascosa County corn, cotton, and peanuts were all in good condition.
AgriLife Extension district reporters for the Coastal Bend District, including Karnes County, reported high temperatures continued to dry out soils. Harvests were on schedule. Cotton yields varied widely depending on precipitation and planting dates. Several fields will not be harvested at all, and stalks shredded. Corn yields were good. Rangeland and pastures continued to decline due to the extreme heat and lack of rain. Some hay was being made. Livestock prices remained high at the local markets.
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.