More moisture came to the state in the form of rain or snow or both. The added moisture was bad for those wanting to plant spring crops but good for wheat, according to Texas AgriLife Extension Service personnel.
“It’s hurt us a little bit with topdressing, for some producers not being able to get their fertilizer out as they would have liked,” said Dr. Todd Baughman, AgriLife Extension agronomist based in Vernon. “But as a whole we’re still in pretty good shape – from a wheat standpoint – and definitely look 100 percent better than we did last year.”
Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. Some late wheat growth was limited by the colder-than-usual weather, and some acreage didn’t get planted because of a wet fall, he said. “There may have been a few more acres that didn’t get planted in Central and maybe South Texas, but as a whole most of the Panhandle and Rolling Plains got most of the acres they wanted in,” he said.
All of Texas has had an unusually wet winter, which has created problems for producers with all crops. North Texas has been particularly hurt by the wet winter, which not only affected the acres planted last fall but hurt fields that did get planted, according to AgriLife Extension agents. Winter wheat there was in poor to fair condition going into spring.
Throughout the state, producers are now pulling cattle off winter wheat grazing in hopes of making a grain crop. Wheat prices are only one factor affecting their decision, Baughman said.
“Actually, wheat prices have been up and down, not necessarily where we would like them," he said.
Regardless of the moisture situation, growers have to take cattle off winter wheat because it’s at the jointing stage. Leaving cattle to graze would be hurting yields, he said.
“The biggest thing from the wheat cattle situation is that cattle are coming off wheat a bit light because of all the mud they’ve been dragging around,” he said.
About 75 percent of Texas wheat acreage is in the Rolling Plains and Panhandle regions, Baughman noted.