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/ .
AgriLife Extension district reporters compiled the following summaries:
Central:The region received from 1.3 to 2.5 inches of rain. Runoff filled most stock tanks. Thanks to timely rains throughout January, small grains continued to do well. Winter wheat and winter grasses were also thriving and were being heavily grazed. Soil preparation and fertilizing for row crops was delayed because of wet conditions. Some wheat growers reported thinner stands, while other fields were in more advanced growth stages than normal.
Coastal Bend: The region had light rains, but they were not enough to raise soil-moisture levels for the upcoming crop season. Most farmers were waiting on heavier rains before fertilizing pastures. Producers continued supplemental feeding of livestock with hay and protein. The shortage of hay was a concern to many.
East: As much as 4 inches of rain fell in some parts of the region. Other areas received only scattered showers. Lake, pond and creek levels rose from runoff. Winter forages continued to improve. Producers were preparing fields for spring planting. Calving continued. Feral hog damage continued to be a major problem in many areas.
Far West: With a few exceptions, most counties received a trace to 0.6 inch of a slow rain. The exceptions were Glasscock County with 1 inch and Brewster County reporting as much as 2 inches. Temperatures were moderate, with lows from the 30s to 40s and highs between the upper 60s and lower 70s. Conditions were windy, which raised the danger of wildfire in some areas. Presidio County reported gusts up to 60 mph. The moisture helped green up some winter weeds. Unfortunately, a large portion were toxic varieties, bitterweed and locoweed. Livestock producers continued to feed their way through the winter, but hay was getting harder to find and very expensive when it could be found. Rangeland conditions remained poor. Areas that burned in the summer still showed charred ground with little to no regrowth. Cotton producers applied pre-emergent herbicides in preparation for the planting season. Fields were also being cultivated for chili pepper planting. Wheat looked fair.
North: The region had widespread, heavy rains, with most counties receiving 3 to 6 inches. Most ponds and small lakes were filled to normal levels. Soil-moisture levels were also replenished. The moisture benefited small grains, pastures and land planned for corn planting this spring. Livestock were in fair to good condition. Producers continued heavy supplemental feeding of livestock, with hay prices still very high. Feral hogs continue to be a problem.