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Conditions good for most, soggy for some

For the most part, hot, rainless days dried out saturated fields, but caused concern for some that the brief respite from drought might be over, according to Texas AgriLife Extension Service reports.

Clear skies and warmer weather promoted cotton growth and harvesting of such crops as grain sorghum.

The Coastal Bend area was one exception to the drying trend, where rain slowed harvest of hay and other crops. Parts of South Texas, after severe flooding the week before, were still seeing spotty showers, but in most counties, drier weather promoted harvests.

The Panhandle had as much as 2 inches of rain in some counties. Others, such as Randall County, were passed over, reported J.D. Ragland, AgriLife Extension county agent.

"Range and pastures have held up well due to good general rains two weeks ago, but in places they are beginning to show signs of stress due to this week's hot, dry, windy conditions," Ragland said.

He noted that sorghum in his area is in "outstanding" condition, as was cotton.

"Even though we have received an abundance of water the past few weeks, the soil has dried up and could use a little more," said Anthony Munoz, AgriLife Extension county agent in Knox County, west of Wichita Falls. "Farmers have started turning their water pivots and drip irrigation units on and are staying busy spraying due to the amount of weeds coming up from the rains."

In the Waco area, most producers received only a few tenths of an inch of rain, said Shane McLellan, AgriLife Extension county agent for McLennan County.

"(It) settled the dust and cooled daytime temperatures," McLellan said. "Much of the corn crop is hitting high aflatoxin numbers; most was cut for silage earlier in the year."

"With spotted rainfall over the last few weeks, portions of the county are in fair to good shape for soil moisture as hay bailing continues, while other parts of the county have yet to see rain for some time," said Lee Dudley, AgriLife Extension county agent for Panola County, southeast of Longview. "For the entire county, hay production has been drastically reduced by 50 percent to 75 percent with some areas still waiting on their second cutting. With only average rainfalls projected for the next 90 days, producers will be looking to purchase outside hay and alternative feed sources to manage their herds through the winter."

"Too much rain has delayed harvest of sorghum and corn fields," said Michael Hiller, AgriLife Extension agent for Jackson County, northeast of Corpus Christi. "Sorghum damage ranges from 25 percent to 50 percent. Some lodging was reported also. Making hay has been a problem for some producers with the frequent showers."

TAGS: Corn
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