Coastal Bend: Daytime temperatures in the high 70s to low 80s caused many cool-season grasses to head out and warm-season species to green up. Several counties reported farmers were planting corn and cotton. In other counties, there was enough rain to halt planting and other field activities. Rangeland and pastures were flush with cool-season forbs, which helped improve the condition of cattle. Rain has filled many ponds. More rain was forecast, which boosted producer optimism. Many trees were budding or already had leaves.
East: Winter forages and warm-season grasses greened up from warmer temperatures and recent rains. Ryegrass and clovers made good growth. With cattle grazing improved, hay feeding was reduced. Trees were blooming. There were heavy weed infestations in areas affected by last year’s drought and over-grazing. Many producers applied herbicides. Lake and pond levels were back to normal in many areas. Feral hog damage reports continued to come in. Fly and mosquito populations increased.
Far West: The weather was warm and breezy, with highs in the upper 60s and 70s, and lows in the 40s. Crane County reported a 0.5-inch rain. In Pecos County, a fast-moving storm produced pea- to marble-sized hail. Cool-season annual weeds continued to grow, and burnt areas from last year showed further signs of new grass growth. In Andrews County, Bermuda grass fields were coming out of dormancy and greening up, but the days were still too short to promote much growth. In El Paso County, fall-planted onions were at the four-leaf stage. Hudspeth County farmers were planting chilies. Though most herds were in the middle of calving season, ranchers were still having to provide supplemental feed. In Andrews County, the reports of cows and heifers being affected by mesquite bean toxicity dropped significantly. In Ward County, ranchers further culled due to feed costs and scarcity of hay.
North: Soil-moisture levels ranged from good to surplus. Some counties reported from 1 inch to 4 inches of rain. The rain halted planting and fieldwork, and more rain was forecast. Wheat was in good to excellent condition, while pastures and rangeland were in very poor to excellent condition. Ryegrass pastures were growing exceptionally well. Most wheat, oats and winter annual pastures continued to do well, as did livestock. Peach trees looked good. Feral hog reports were up.
Panhandle: The region had warm and windy weather with above-average temperatures for most of the week. Soil-moisture levels were mostly very short. Wheat was in poor to very poor condition. Farmers continued preparing fields and were actively irrigating wheat. Rangeland was mostly in very poor to poor condition. Ranchers continued supplemental feeding of cattle.