Rolling Plains: A winter storm brought cold and icy conditions but very little moisture. Cotton continued to be ginned. In some areas, cotton not yet harvested was opening, but some lint was loose in the boll. Abnormally dry conditions in parts of the region meant most wheat stands were either very thin or still not emerged. Rangeland and pastures, already in poor shape, went into dormancy after the recent freezes. However, many producers were still able to graze cattle on standing forage without feeding hay. Those who overgrazed were forced to feed hay. Most livestock producers were feeding protein supplements. Ice-breaking of livestock water sources was a common chore. Stock tanks still needed runoff water. The pecan crop was light but of good quality.
South: Soil-moisture levels were reported as short to adequate throughout the district. Soil-moisture levels in the eastern part of the district were short, with rainfall averaging 0.5 inch. Rangeland and pastures were mostly fair in the northern counties, fair to good in the western counties, and poor in the most-southern counties and in Kleberg and Kenedy counties. The peanut harvest in the northern counties was nearly complete. Winter pastures were doing well there, and strawberry growers were irrigating and fertilizing. Wheat and oats were 100 percent emerged and in good condition. Summer perennial grasses were going into dormancy. The western part of the district reports had some isolated showers. Stock-tank water levels were good. Zavala County harvesting of fresh market and processing spinach harvest was well underway. Cooler conditions early last week provided excellent growing conditions for spinach, as well as other cool-season crops such as cabbage and onions. Cotton ginning was nearly or completely finished. In the southern part of the region, harvesting of sugarcane, citrus and vegetables continued. Also, growers were planting vegetables as fields dried out. Irrigation supplies for the coming growing season remained very critically low.
South Plains: By mid-week, the region had recovered from the extreme arctic cold front that blew through the previous weekend. Heavy snow— 6 to 10 inches in Swisher County—and wet conditions kept a many producers out of the fields. Mild temperatures prevailed for the remainder of the week, and most producers were able to get back to harvesting cotton over the holiday weekend. Most of the northern counties were nearly finished harvesting all their crops; many have either started or have already finished planting winter wheat. Some newly emerged wheat was damaged by the subfreezing temperatures. Another extreme cold event was forecast this coming weekend, so producers were pushing to finish up planting. The more southern counties still have larger acreages left to harvest as they started later while waiting for a killing freeze. Yoakum County reported above-average temperatures and below-average precipitation with rangeland and pastures in poor condition. With the additional moisture, rangeland, pasture and topsoil moisture was improved, but a heavy rain or snow was still needed to offset drought losses. Livestock were mostly in fair to good condition with producers supplying supplemental feed during the cold, wet weather.