Intensifying drought stirs up dustApr 2, 2014
Reports of intensifying drought across the Southwest may have farmers scratching their heads wondering when and what to plant and what chance they will have of in-season rainfall or adequate irrigation capacity to make a crop.
The latest Drought Monitor for Texas shows the state drought status worsening with 25 percent of the state currently rated in extreme drought status or worse. New Mexico farmers also worry that reduced snowpack and overall winter precipitation puts them in a precarious situation as planting time draws near. In Oklahoma, some areas have received spotty rain this winter and early spring while other areas remain drought-stressed.
A Texas farmer recently said conditions going into 2014 planting season are worse than in 2011. No soil moisture is available following three years of significantly reduced rainfall.
These photos from an early April trip to the Texas High Plains show the impact of the ongoing drought. Lindsay West, National Sorghum Producers, rolled down my passenger seat truck window to shoot the dust storm photos and taking a good load of sand in her face. Thanks for the assist.