What is in this article?:
- Spring and summer showers often come with a downside.
- Beneficial rain can also bring pain.
- Crop damage, insects come with heavy rain.
Probably no farmer or rancher in Texas would complain about a beneficial rain on a drought-stressed field of corn or cotton or any other crop. But when it comes to extreme weather, in spite of the season or how much needed rain can bring relief from a drought, spring and summer showers often come with a downside, especially when they are accompanied by or are a part of a major storm system.
No one, or very few, are complaining about recent and widespread showers responsible for dropping as much as eight inches of rain over wide areas of Central and South Texas. But in addition to the rain, this year's spring season has also brought hail storms, twisters, late winter snows and freezing temperatures to parts of the Southwest that have complicated agricultural operations in at least three states.
Sure, weather happens, and by and large that's a good thing. But many agree that 2013 is shaping up to be a particularly unusual weather year, and along with it have come reports of crop losses, field damage, insect invasion, freeze damage and even warnings of, or at least the potential for, deadly disease outbreaks.
Take a look at some of the conflicting reports from across the Southwest region so far this year. Some are saying, and bolstering claims with statistics, that the late winter season has brought some of the warmest temperatures ever recorded to parts of the region. Other reports indicate that snow packs in Southern Colorado and New Mexico are substantially lower than usual, while a few places in Texas and Oklahoma are reporting record snowfalls for spring, responsible for damaged wheat in the Texas plains.
Then freezing weather hit Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico in early May, not to mention hailstorms that damaged nut trees and chili pepper fields in Southern New Mexico. Strong winds, gale force and above, are being blamed for corn and sorghum damage from the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas to areas all along the Texas coast as far east and north as Beaumont, where some farmers have complained that flash-flooded fields destroyed young crops.