Texas received some much-needed rainfall in early May, according to observers in south Texas and the High Plains.

 John Norman, retired Extension entomologist and current editor of the Pest Cast Newsletter, which covers the Lower Rio Grande Valley, says wet conditions prevailed for the past week.

“Monday and Tuesday were dry days,” Norman says. “Rains started on Tuesday night and are predicted to last through Saturday morning. Doppler radar rain estimated amounts from Tuesday night to Friday morning, May 11, ranged from one-half to 11inches near McCook. The timing of the rain could not have been much more perfect for cotton and grain sorghum crops in the Valley.”

Norman says hail damage appears to have been isolated and light based on early reports. “Actual extent has not yet been reported. Pest activity increased this week.”

Clyde Crumley, Extension integrated pest management specialist for the Upper Coastal Bend says conditions “have changed from warm and dry to cooler and wetter, in certain areas. The prevailing southerly winds have diminished. Where corn and grain sorghum have not yet received meaningful rainfall, plants are showing drought stress. The cotton growth stage is variable throughout the area and ranges from fields that are just planted, to the match-head to one-third grown square stage in the earliest planted fields.”

Crumley says DD60s have accumulated above the historical average “with the exception of several of cooler than normal periods. Basically we are some 5 days ahead of normal when it comes to average heat units for this year. Now, given that we are behind in overall planting, we are going to need all the heat units we can get to beat the surprises we may see at harvest.”

He says data for the degree day update came from the crop weather station located near Crescent in Wharton County.

Manda Anderson Gaines County integrated pest management specialist in Seminole, says the area “was blessed with some much need rainfall this week.  I have received reports of one-half an inch to as much as 3.5 inches.  There was also some hail mixed in with the rainfall.”