What is in this article?:
- Drought intensifies across southwest
- Texas crop and weather
The latest Texas Drought Monitor map shows 74 percent of the state in moderate to exceptional drought status and more than half the state is suffering severe “or worse” drought.
This corn on May 5, in the Brazos Bottom, Burleson County, looks good, but look s can be deceiving, according to Dr. Ronnie Schnell, AgriLife Extension state cropping systems specialist, College Station. The plants were entering a rapid-growth stage, leading to the most critical flowering stages. Water demand was increasing rapidly, and without rain to replenish soil moisture, these plants could enter those critical growth periods under moisture stress.
As if the relentless drought weren’t bad enough, large sections of the Southwest saw temperatures soar into the high 90-degree range this week with several locations topping 100.
The combination of high temperatures, high wind and continued drought has wreaked havoc on much of the Southwest wheat crop and puts summer crops in jeopardy as farmers hope for planting moisture. And it’s early May.
The latest Texas Drought Monitor map shows 74 percent of the state in moderate to exceptional drought status and more than half the state is suffering severe “or worse” drought status.
That level is 5 percentage points above last week’s report and significantly greater than the 49 percent of the state in drought status three months ago. But last year at this time, 92 percent of the state was in drought.
The situation is no better in Oklahoma where Randy Boman told participants at a recent Tipton Valley Research Center field day that southwest Oklahoma had recorded just 4.81 inches of rain since Oct, 2013. “And that precipitation came in 39 separate events,” he said.
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Most of those rain events brought little more than traces of rain. “One rain in December brought almost an inch,” Boman said. Since January, 2013, the area has received 20 inches from 89 separate events. “The last time we were not in drought was November, 2010,” he said. Much of the region has been in exceptional drought for most of that time.