What is in this article?:
- Rainfall amounts variable across Texas High Plains.
- Wind gusts exceed 80 MPH.
- Some crop damage expected.
Fields with cover crops appear to have weathered June wind storms better than fields that had no cover.
Harsh conditions prevail
“Harsh environmental conditions continue to plague the NWP,” he says. “Very high winds associated with recent storm fronts have added ‘insult to injury,’ damaging crops, sprinkler irrigation systems, and power poles. Some storms also contained damaging hail.”
Precipitation records tell the tale. Vandiver says recent precipitation confirmed by local weather stations ranged from half-an-inch to one-and-a-half inches. “The NWP is right at 50 percent of the long-term average precipitation year-to-date. The May 1 to-date heat unit accumulations are slightly ahead of the long-term average.”
Texas AgriLife Extension agronomist Calvin Trostle, who works out of the Research and Extension Center in Lubbock, says much of the High Plains received some rain before midnight, June 5. Accumulation was variable, he says, with Abernathy recording 1.1 inches; the northwest corner of Lubbock County received 1.6 inches, while other areas of the county received closer to 1.2. Folks in the Morton area had only 0.44. “But that comes on top of another half-inch from last Friday, so that will help,” Trostle says. Gaines County, he adds, also received little moisture. “Seminole received only about 0.13 inch so far in June and Seagraves had about one-third of an inch.”
The rain was welcome. “The wind was nasty,” he adds. “We had reports of some gusts over 80 miles per hour, so we have questions about damage to cotton seedlings.”
Vandiver is concerned. “Cotton stand counts less than 0.2 plants per foot of row and corn with severe leaf burn have been observed in fields in the path of these storms. The injury to corn at this stage should not result in measurable yield loss,” he says.
Trostle also thinks corn and grain sorghum was likely at a growth stage where damage would be minimal.
Vandiver recommends producers check a Purdue University article at http://goo.gl/ZpQtm for information on wind and sandblast damage to corn.
He says cotton has not fared well with much of the acreage sustaining “varying degrees of damage, some of which is severe. On the brighter side, irrigated crops not subjected to or more tolerant of the severe conditions associated with the recent storms look pretty good and in some cases very good.”