Most of the state received rain the third week of February, further greening up pastures and winter wheat, according to reports from Texas AgriLife Extension Service personnel.
In some cases, the rains stimulated the growth of winter grasses and small grains to the extent that it relieved the pressure on extremely limited hay supplies.
However, in most areas, livestock producers still had to provide supplemental feed and hay to cattle. In many areas the hay they fed continued to come from out of state.
“Wheat, oats and winter pastures continue to do very well with the rains and mild temps,” said Rick Maxwell, AgriLife Extension agent for Collin County, northeast of Dallas. “Cattle producers continue to graze winter annual pastures, which has cut down the use of hay, still in short supply.”
“Recent rains have stimulated cool-season annuals to start to sprout, and it’s nice to see some green in the pastures for a change,” said Logan Lair, AgriLife Extension agent for Navarro County, northeast of Waco. “For the most part, supplemental feeding is still going on around the county for beef cattle, mainly hay.”
“Good rains were received over most of the area this past week, and winter pastures were growing well,” said Hugh Soape, AgriLife Extension agent for Gregg County, Longview. “Many are still overgrazed. Cattle are beginning to rebound in some areas where they are not overstocked. Hay and feedstuff was still in short supply and expensive.”
“(We had) up to 0.5 inch of rainfall on Wednesday (Feb. 15),” reported Rick Hirsch, AgriLife Extension agent for Henderson County, Athens. “Muddy conditions are hampering field preparation for spring planting. Cool-season grazing was decreasing the need for hay, which is severely short in supply.”
“We are moving moisture up to adequate,” said Neal Alexander, AgriLife Extension agent for San Saba County, north of San Antonio. “However, San Saba County has not progressed into non-drought conditions. It is a long way to the truck for our small-grain crop, and without a hay crop this year, we remain in a disaster. Yearling cattle are doing well. Small grains are keeping up with them so far.”
“Up to 1 inch of rain fell in the county last week,” said Joe Janak, AgriLife Extension agent for Victoria County, northeast of Corpus Christi. “The cropping area, which is about 40 percent of the county, is still short of moisture, having had less than 3 inches in the last three months. There is sufficient moisture to get the crops up but not to full production. Green forage is becoming apparent, but is still in short supply for grazing. It’ll take many days for full forage growth. Hay is still being fed.”
More information on the current Texas drought and wildfire alerts can be found on the AgriLife Extension Agricultural Drought Task Force website at http://agrilife.tamu.edu/drought/.