Scattered showers are helping some farmers in the Texas Southern and High Plains, but large areas of drought still exist and water resources are being stressed to meet weekly crop needs. Recent rainfall in some South Texas areas has broken a drought cycle but could set up some pre-harvest problems for cotton and grain farmers.

Monti Vandiver Texas AgriLife Extension Integrated Pest Management agent serving Bailey and Parmer Counties, says recent crop progress has been good.

“Based on area average long term weather data from 1981-2010, crops have progressed very well over the last 10 days or so,” Vandiver says. “Slightly lower temperatures have helped moderate moisture demands a bit. A few scattered and very isolated rains certainly helped those fortunate enough to be in their paths. We are still in need of a good area wide rain as crops are demanding more moisture than most irrigation systems can supply.”

He says area weather stations have recorded 4.19, 5.46, 4.29 and 7.3 inches of rainfall year-to- date versus the 30-year area average of 10.10 inches. “This shortfall continues to tax irrigation systems at an elevated rate,” he says. “Some crops will stress more than others without timely rainfall soon.”

Potential weekly water use—crop Inches per week—show that corn needs 1.98  inches; cotton 1.95 inches; and sorghum 1.5 inches per week.