From the Lower Rio Grande Valley to the far stretches of Southeast Texas as far up the coast as just beyond the Houston Metro area, farm activity is ablaze with corn and grain sorghum harvest in full swing with cotton not far behind, at least in Deep South Texas.

One of the real pleasures of reporting farm and ranch news across the Southwest is the chance to road trip across as much of the region as time will allow, taking in the varied forms of farming activity, especially late in the growing season when most crops are mature and either ready for or at least nearing harvest.

Starting in South Texas this week I traveled north up the coast as far as Chambers County, taking to the back roads to hit as many rural farming communities as possible to see for myself how the crop year is progressing.

If, like me, you grew up around agriculture, seeing farm after farm full of corn and cotton and grain sorghum and a buzz of activity in the fields is a real joy. Without getting too mushy, it is fair to say it warms the heart to reconnect with the grassroots of the oldest of all professions—working the land and producing the food that keeps us all happy and healthy. It's a sight that renews the human spirit.

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My timing for such a trip, whether by accident or design, could not have been better.

In the far south reaches of the state little grain sorghum is left in the fields. Two straight weeks of typically hot summer weather has brought harvest activities to a close for most grains, including corn. It was hard to spot a field of corn or sorghum that was not stripped by combine or well into the process.