Rainfall across the state has put range and pastures in great shape for beef cattle, and livestock markets have gotten a boost, according to Texas Cooperative Extension reports.
In East Texas, Anderson County cattle demand has been strong with cow-calf pairs bringing up to $1,820, while bred cows have been priced as high as $1,525. Calf prices are strong and producers are beginning to wean then.
Cotton is making good progress in the South Plains region, according to reports.
The following are reports from Extension agents across the state:
PANHANDLE: Temperatures were above average much of the week before the remnants of tropical storm Erin brought some relief by week's end. Very little rain fell in the area. Land preparation continued for wheat planting. Soil moisture is rated very short to adequate with most areas reporting short. Corn is rated fair to excellent, with most areas reporting good. Much of the crop is in the dent stage. Silage harvest is under way. Spider mites and bollworm moths have increased. Cotton is rated mostly fair. Aphids remain a concern. Peanuts are rated mostly good with no pest problems. Sorghum is rated fair to excellent with most areas reporting good; crop continues to head. Dryland sorghum needs a good rain. Soybeans are rated mostly good with no pest problems. Range conditions are declining as a result of hot, dry weather, and cattle are in excellent condition.
SOUTH PLAINS: Hot, dry conditions were reported. Cotton is making good progress with warmer temperatures, but remains short on heat units. Aphids were reported in some area botton fields. Cotton and grain sorghum irrigation is under way. Grain is sorghum progressing well. Harvest of corn continues. Ranges and pastures are in good condition, as are livestock.
ROLLING PLAINS: Hot, dry conditions reported. Cotton is in good condition around the district, but some fields struggling and need to set bloom by mid-September. Cotton aphids are starting to show in cotton. Pastures are in average condition, but have weeds and need moisture. Fire danger will be very high this fall due to the volume of weeds. Hay supplies are tremendous this year, especially hay grazer crops. Milo is in good condition and harvesting activities have begun.
NORTH: Soil moisture ranges from short to adequate. Corn is in good to excellent condition, and harvest has begun, but milo is ahead of corn. Grain elevators are gearing up for the milo and corn harvest. The corn crop is expected to be above average, with yields averaging in the 160 bushel to 180 bushel per acre range. Soybean harvest has begun and yield looks very good. Soybean condition ranges from good to excellent. Sorghum is in good to excellent condition and about 100 percent headed, coloring and mature, and its harvest is 25 percent to 100 percent complete. Cotton is in good condition, squaring and setting bolls. Rice is in good condition. Hay production is in full force. Some producers have gotten five cuttings, but others only two due to wet fields. The hot weather has slowed grass growth but allowed the hay making to catch up. Some wheat is being, harvested, but the quality is very poor. Livestock are in fair to good condition weathering the heat. The cattle market is very active, especially on replacement cows and cattle needed to eat surplus grass. Range and pasture condition are fair to good.
EAST: Hot, dry weather with temperatures more than 100 degrees F. Hay production is in full swing, with some producers getting as much as five cuttings. Winter pasture preparations are beginning in some areas. Fall armyworm reports are beginning to come in, especially reports of the pests in bermudagrass hayfields in Polk County. There was an increasing number of calls regarding problems in ornamental shade trees in Henderson County. Producers are preparing for fall gardens. Watermelon harvest is complete, and in Anderson County a few fall melons are being planted.
FAR WEST: Soil moisture ranges from very short to adequate, and crops and pastures are in very poor to good condition. Corn is in good condition. Cotton is in poor to excellent condition. Sorghum is in fair to excellent condition. Scattered rains were reported in the district, with Val Verde reporting 2 inches. The rest of the region was hot and dry, making conditions favorable for cotton crop in need of heat units. Hay, cotton and shrimp production is on schedule for this time of year. Melons and onions are still being shipped. Long, green chilies and pumpkins are growing well for fall harvest.
WEST CENTRAL: The weather was hot and dry with highs in the upper 90s F. One inch to 5 inches of rain were reported. Cotton fields are loaded with heavy blooms. Boll worms have been sprayed. Hay cutting and baling continues. Field preparations for fall planting are under way. Corn harvest is mostly complete, and producers will now bale the stalks. Sorghum is doing very well. Range and pastures are in good condition and continue to grow. Hot, dry conditions are slowing growth. Livestock remain in good condition. Pecan tree limbs are breaking from heavy loads of pecans. Fungal diseases are of great concern on most fruit and nut crops.
CENTRAL: Area conditions remain hot and dry. Hay producers continue to bale. Corn yields range from very high to very low — great in some fields and very low in others. Commercial orchards are spraying for pecan scab and hickory shuckworms. The quality of the pecan crop has decreased, and production will likely be average to less than average. The cotton crop continues to develop. Livestock are in good condition. SOUTHEAST: Most areas of the county received 2 inches to 3 inches of rain Hay fields were affected by ill-timed rains. This week rains delayed haying operations and slowed the rice harvest. Soybeans look good and rice yields are excellent so far. No reports of livestock problems.
SOUTHWEST: Tropical storm Erin brought 5 inches to 8 inches of rain in South Central Texas between San Antonio and Hondo. The rain caused rivers and creeks in that region to overflow, resulting in flooding and other problems. Some corn, sorghum and hay incurred damage, but most was damage to property. Forage availability is above average. The mild, open weather, which followed Erin, has helped cotton and peanuts make good progress. The corn-sorghum harvest and hay cutting/baling resumed. Sorghum is receiving some market quality discounts. Most of the first cut of hay was lost to excessive rain. Pecan orchard fruit drop has slowed as shells harden and nuts fill. Early planted fall vegetables are having problems due to hot afternoons.
COASTAL BEND: Harvest continued in those counties which were not too wet. Cotton harvest will be later than normal. Wet corn and sorghum fields caused lower yields than expected. Hay quantities were high, but of lower quality due to heavy rain.
SOUTH: Soil moisture conditions have been adequate throughout most of the region. As the threat of Hurricane Dean heightened, cotton harvesting increased. Corn harvesting also was active due to possible rain. Hay baling operations continue.