“By irrigated, it means they can put water on it at some time during the crop’s growing season,” Miller said. “It doesn’t mean they have all the water they need to finish the crop. And they may need that (limited) amount of water to pre-irrigate other crops such as corn and cotton.”
More information on the current Texas drought and wildfire alerts can be found on the AgriLife Extension Agricultural Drought Task Force webpage athttp://agrilife.tamu.edu/drought/.
AgriLife Extension district reporters compiled the following summaries:
Central: The area remained extremely dry. The farming community became concerned that drought conditions were more critical than they earlier realized. Corn planting was nearly completed. Most corn and sorghum was planted in dry soil and needed rain before it could emerge. Cotton acreage was expected to be up from last year as planting began. High winds dried out soils. Pastures were green but growth was limited. Growers were planning to put in watermelon and tomato transplants.
Coastal Bend: The region had above-normal temperatures but no rain. As topsoil moisture dried out, some farmers stopped planting cotton and were waiting on a rain before resuming. Some cotton was replanted because of poor emergence after a rain two weeks ago.Rangeland and pastures needed rain as well. Forage was becoming more available but was slow to respond due to the dry conditions. Livestock producers were still feeding some hay to make up for the lack of grazing.
East: The entire region remained extremely dry. Unusually warm, dry weather caused rangeland and pasture conditions to deteriorate. Planting of new forages was put on hold due to lack of moisture. Stock-water tank and pond levels were dropping drastically and, in some areas, were down to record lows. Livestock remained in good condition with supplemental feeding being done — particularly by those producers without winter pasture growth. The spring calving season was ongoing. There were widespread reports of feral hog activity.
North: Soil-moisture levels were short in most of the region. Two weeks of high winds drained soil moisture, causing ryegrass and other forages to decline. Wheat and oats still looked good but were in desperate need of rain. Many farmers have started — and some have completed — corn planting hoping they will receive rain very soon. The dry weather made the corn planting easier, but that crop too needs rain. The warmer nights caused Bermudagrass and Bahia grass to begin to green up. Some producers were harvesting small grains and ryegrass for silage. Winter feeding of livestock waned. Peaches continued to look good. The insect population was on the rise. Skunks were plentiful, but feral hogs remained the biggest wildlife problem. There have been several reports of hog sightings on properties within city limits. Rangeland and pasture conditions ranged from poor to good.