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.
North Texas good to surplus
North: Soil-moisture levels ranged from good to surplus. Some counties reported from 1 inch to 4 inches of rain. The rain halted planting and fieldwork, and more rain was forecast. Wheat was in good to excellent condition, while pastures and rangeland were in very poor to excellent condition. Ryegrass pastures were growing exceptionally well. Most wheat, oats and winter annual pastures continued to do well, as did livestock. Peach trees looked good. Feral hog reports were up.
Panhandle: The region had warm and windy weather with above-average temperatures for most of the week. Soil-moisture levels were mostly very short. Wheat was in poor to very poor condition. Farmers continued preparing fields and were actively irrigating wheat. Rangeland was mostly in very poor to poor condition. Ranchers continued supplemental feeding of cattle.
Rolling Plains: Recent rains in the western part of the region turned around the agricultural situation. Winter wheat came on vigorously, along with wild rye in pastures. All areas reported that pastures were in fair to good condition. Some producers were considering baling winter wheat to replenish hay supplies that were exhausted after last year’s drought. Grazing on wheat, livestock were in fair to good condition. The spring calving season drew to a close. Cotton farmers were preparing fields, following recent moisture. Pecan trees were budding. Fruit trees were in full bloom.
South: The weather was spring-like, with mild temperatures, strong winds and cool nights. Soil-moisture levels ranged from short to very short in most of the region and mainly adequate in all of the northern counties. Rangeland and pastures significantly improved where better rains were received. Forage supplies remained low in McMullen and Zavala counties. Corn was growing well in Atascosa County. In Frio County, sorghum planting began, corn planting continued, potatoes were flowering and wheat was heading. In Jim Wells County, sunflowers and corn emerged to make excellent stands. In La Salle County, potatoes also began to flower. In Zavala County, farmers were very busy preparing land for cotton planting, wheat and oats were heading and doing well, the spinach and cabbage harvests were ongoing, and onions under irrigation were doing well. In Hidalgo County, the vegetable, citrus and sugarcane harvests were ongoing, the spring onion harvest began, and cotton, corn and grain sorghum planting was active.
Southeast: Highs were in the upper 70s, lows in the 60s. Most of the area received rain, which continued to replenish the soil profile and helped pastures recover. Supplemental feeding of livestock continued. Early planted crops were doing well. The condition of livestock improved for the most part thanks to better pasture conditions. Farm ponds were full.
Southwest: Parts of the region received as much as 3.5 inches of rain, which greened up pastures and boosted oats for grazing. The light rains and warmer weather stimulated weed growth, which could inhibit the recovery of pastures. Cattle bloat from excess clover consumption continued to be an issue for livestock producers. Corn and milo farmers continued planting, and small grains were heading out.
South Plains: Most of the region received rain — and in some cases isolated small hail storms – over the weekend. Some areas received as much as 2 inches, but 0.5 inch was more common. Producers were pre-watering fields, applying herbicides and performing general fieldwork in preparation for spring planting. Despite recent rains, winter wheat was still struggling, as were pastures and rangeland. Cattle were mostly in fair to good condition, with ranchers continuing to supply supplemental feed. Temperatures were mild, with lows staying above freezing.
West Central: Temperatures became much warmer. Strong storms brought much-needed rain to many areas. Small grains continue to improve. Producers were scouting fields for fungi and insects. Some rust and green bug infestations were reported. Rangeland and pasture conditions continued to improve. Some warm-season grasses were breaking winter dormancy. Stock tanks were full in some areas. Ranchers slacked off supplemental feeding of livestock as grazing conditions improved. Producers continued to work livestock as the spring calving, lambing and kidding season finished. Peach trees were in full bloom.