Even then, if they jump back into production, and the rainfall patterns don’t hold,
they could find themselves stuck with some high-priced replacement cattle needing costly hay.
“The situation warrants being careful at this time,” he said.
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 for Feb. 6-14.
Central:Soil-moisture levels remained good. Most stock tanks and lakes were full from recent rains. Winter wheat and grasses were providing good grazing. Small grains looked good. Oats were beginning to joint in some fields. Cattle looked great as the winter weather promoted excellent growth of rangeland cool-season annual grasses and forbs. Producers were preparing to plant sunflowers as early as next week if fields dry out.
Coastal Bend: Most areas received from 1 inch to 6 inches of rain. The runoff filled many livestock tanks and continued to improve rangeland and pasture conditions. However, it was noted that a great deal more moisture would be needed to recover from the drought. Livestock producers were still supplementing cattle with hay and protein. Farmers were preparing equipment for spring planting.
East: Most of the region received scattered showers. With recent rains, ponds and other bodies of water were filling up. Winter pastures looked good and were growing well. However, producers continued to buy out-of-state hay. The calving season was ongoing. Farmers increased field preparations. Feral hog damage reports continued to come in.
Far West: Only trace amounts of moisture were reported except in Val Verde County, which reported very cold weather with mixed snow, sleet and 0.5 to 0.7 inch of rain on Feb. 12. Daytime highs ranged from the mid 30s to low 70s, with lows in the 20s. Winter forbs greened up, but the growth was not nearly enough to provide grazing for livestock. There were some dry winter grasses in some areas, but most pastures remained dormant. Producers were preparing fields for cotton planting, doing pre-watering and laying out rows. Reports leveled off of cattle being affected by over-consumption of mesquite beans. Supplemental feeding of livestock continued. The calving season began. Presidio County reported hay supplies to be critical. Lambing and kidding season began.
North: Mild weather following recent rains improved small grains and winter annual pastures. Many farmers and ranchers were debating whether to apply fertilizer. Topsoil moisture was good. Corn producers were readying to prepare fields for planting later this month and into March. Most stock tanks were recharged to good levels by the recent rains. Producers were optimistic about the chances of more rain. Some producers who had moved cattle to out-of-state grazing, brought them home this week. Livestock were in fair to good condition. Hogs continued to be a problem.