Rolling Plains: The region had its first freeze of the season. Wheat planting came to a standstill because of lack of adequate soil moisture. Recent showers in some areas greened up grasses, giving livestock a nutritional boost going into winter. Livestock operators were providing heavy supplemental feed to remaining livestock. Some producers were still buying hay while reducing herds. Large ranches continued to ship cattle out of state as rangeland further worsened. The cotton harvest was ongoing, with yields mostly disappointing. Several cotton producers who did not make a crop opted to plant wheat while others were just letting the land lay fallow. Their only concern about letting land lay out is that with the recent winds, soils have been blowing nonstop and without a cover crop there’s not much they can do about it. Peanut producers were harvesting, and reported average to below-average yields.
South: A cold front moved into the region midweek, dropping temperatures into the upper 30s and lower 40s. However, the front did not bring rain. Rangeland and pastures were in fair to poor condition. Cooler temperatures and high winds stymied forage growth. Livestock producers increased supplemental feeding of cattle, and continued search for hay to buy. Most livestock producers reported the majority of their cattle body-condition scores as fair. In Frio County, peanut harvesting was in full swing, with a lot of peanut hay is being produced, but wheat and oat planting slowed due to lack of moisture. In Atascosa County, wheat and winter oats were not emerging due to the drought. In Jim Wells County, there was not much field activity except for the harvesting of fall watermelons. In Zavala County, spinach, cabbage and onions responded well to cooler temperatures and irrigation. The harvesting of baby-leaf spinach was expected to begin soon. In Cameron County, corn was progressing well, and irrigation of vegetable crops continued. In Hidalgo County, the harvesting of sugarcane and citrus, and the planting of onions continued. Starr County fall crops were progressing well.
South Plains: The cotton harvest continued, though some producers had already finished. Winter-wheat planting was also ongoing, with producers hoping for rain to get the crop up and growing. Some counties received rain, but all areas were still way below average for the year. Temperatures have dropped off considerably with several cold fronts rolling through the area. Several counties had the first freeze of the year. High winds negatively affected conditions. Pasture and rangeland forbs were struggling due to lack of moisture. Livestock producers were still providing supplemental feed to cattle on a regular basis.