Southeast: Cool-season annual grasses showed good growth. Some producers were considering replanting drought-damaged pastures as soil-moisture levels improved. Hay feeding significantly decreased. Soil temperatures warmed, but planting of corn and other crops was behind schedule because of wet field conditions. Rains in some areas helped fill farm ponds. The condition of livestock rose due to better pastures.
Southwest: Small grains continued to improve. Farmers began planting corn in some areas. Producers slowed supplemental feeding of livestock, and there were reports of bloat occurring on animals grazing native clover. Creeks were running, and pastures were greening up. The lambing and kidding season continued, and shearing started.
South Plains: The sky was brown on Feb. 20 as high winds created dust storms — a typical spring pattern for the region — warm days with high winds and blowing dust cycling with cold days. It is as if Mother Nature is trying to decide whether it’s winter or spring. Topsoils remained dry, and winter wheat needed moisture. Farmers were doing some field preparation for spring planting, as well as some tillage efforts to prevent topsoil from blowing. Rangeland and pastures needed moisture with cool-season grasses showing some growth from light rains. Livestock producers continued supplemental feeding of cattle.
West Central: The region had warmer days with cool nights. Many areas received rain, raising soil-moisture levels, which will help spring planting. The warm weather and recent moisture also improved winter wheat. Cool-season grasses in rangeland and pastures continued to improve. Producers continued feeding livestock, but slowed due to improved grazing in rangeland. Weeds were becoming a problem this year, and cattle bloat due to over-consumption of clover was a great concern. Yearling cattle were doing very well on small grains, and cows were gaining body condition where winter grasses were available. Fruit trees were blooming. Fruit growers were pruning peach orchards.