What is in this article?:
- More rain came to most of Texas, improving drought-damaged pastures and rangeland.
- The rains greatly improved the agricultural situation.
- Many areas still need rain.
Warm weather and March rains brought on lush growth of grass, small grains and weeds, which provided good grazing for these San Angelo area sheep.
AgriLife Extension district reporters compiled the following summaries for March 13-19:
Central: Crops were doing well thanks to the moisture received over the past month. Winter wheat and grasses continued to supply grazing for livestock. Farmers were trying to finish planting in areas where fields weren’t too wet. Some rust was reported in wheat, which was in flag stage in some areas. Incidences of cattle bloating from over-consumption of clover were still being reported. As much as 90 percent of corn, 100 percent of sunflowers and 20 percent of grain sorghum was already planted. Pastures were in good shape thanks to growth of cool-season grasses. Wheat showed good yield potential, but needed dry weather to finish strong. Wildflowers, including bluebonnets, were blooming.
Coastal Bend: Daytime temperatures in the high 70s to low 80s caused many cool-season grasses to head out and warm-season species to green up. Several counties reported farmers were planting corn and cotton. In other counties, there was enough rain to halt planting and other field activities. Rangeland and pastures were flush with cool-season forbs, which helped improve the condition of cattle. Rain has filled many ponds. More rain was forecast, which boosted producer optimism. Many trees were budding or already had leaves.
East: Winter forages and warm-season grasses greened up from warmer temperatures and recent rains. Ryegrass and clovers made good growth. With cattle grazing improved, hay feeding was reduced. Trees were blooming. There were heavy weed infestations in areas affected by last year’s drought and over-grazing. Many producers applied herbicides. Lake and pond levels were back to normal in many areas. Feral hog damage reports continued to come in. Fly and mosquito populations increased.
Far West: The weather was warm and breezy, with highs in the upper 60s and 70s, and lows in the 40s. Crane County reported a 0.5-inch rain. In Pecos County, a fast-moving storm produced pea- to marble-sized hail. Cool-season annual weeds continued to grow, and burnt areas from last year showed further signs of new grass growth. In Andrews County, Bermuda grass fields were coming out of dormancy and greening up, but the days were still too short to promote much growth. In El Paso County, fall-planted onions were at the four-leaf stage. Hudspeth County farmers were planting chilies. Though most herds were in the middle of calving season, ranchers were still providing supplemental feed. In Andrews County, the reports of cows and heifers being affected by mesquite bean toxicity dropped significantly. In Ward County, ranchers further culled due to feed costs and scarcity of hay.