South Plains: The region was still hot and dry, though temperatures became more moderate, with highs mostly in the mid-to-upper 90s. Producers wound down irrigating cotton as about 90 percent of the crop approached cutout, maturing about 30 days early. Some cotton fields will be sprayed with harvest aids within the next week. Fall small-grain crops will likely not be planted unless there is rain, as there was no moisture in the soil profile. Pastures and rangeland remained dry. Herds were being culled or moved to feeding facilities. A few counties had scattered showers, but not enough was received to make any difference at this point.
Southeast: Light showers did little to alleviate drought conditions. Cattle producers continued culling older cattle and weaning calves early. Groundwater levels further dropped, creating issues for watering cattle. Grain sorghum and rice were being harvested for hay at unprecedented levels. Hay movement was very active. There were concerns of nutritional quality of secondary forages and requests for suggestions on feeding strategies and supplementing programs. Trees were dying in pastures. Soybeans were at best in fair condition. Feeding livestock this winter program was expected to be a huge challenge for producers.
Southwest: The drought continued with no rain forecast. High afternoon winds created dust storms. While high temperatures dropped to the upper 90s, the heat continued to aggravate the dry conditions. Wildfire alerts remained in place. Many stock tanks completely dried up. Forage availability remained well below average for this time of the year. The cotton harvest was ongoing, with excellent yields from fully irrigated fields, but most dryland and partially irrigated cotton failed. Sweet corn, recently planted for an early fall harvest, made good progress under heavy irrigation. Peanuts, pecans and landscape nursery crops continued to make good progress wherever irrigation water was still available. Ranchers were providing supplemental feed to remaining livestock.
West Central: Hot, dry conditions continued. Most areas reported some rain, but not enough to break long-term drought conditions. Normally producers would be preparing fields for fall planting at this time, but no work was being done because of the extremely dry soils. Rangeland and pastures continue to deteriorate. Wildlife was suffering from drought and moving into towns looking for food and water. Producers continued to sell off livestock due to lack of forage and water. Some producers were in ‘survival mode,’ trying to hold onto a small number of cattle with which they can rebuild herds when conditions improve.