Farm Progress

East Texas and coastal Bend get some needed rainExtreme drought conditions hurting small grains, pasturesLakes, streams and ponds are low

April 5, 2011

2 Min Read

Parts of East Texas and the Coastal Bend received from 1 inch to 1.5 inches of rain on April 4, but the rest of the state got only high winds and cooler temperatures, according to the National Weather Service.

With few exceptions, mainly along the Gulf Coast, the rain did little to roll back the severe to extreme drought conditions hampering the growth of small grains and pasture and rangeland grasses, said Texas AgriLife Extension Service personnel.

However, in some situations, the rain may have come at just the right time to salvage recently emerged corn and give some hope for wheat to be harvested for grain, AgriLife Extension county agents reported.

"Many producers are still culling herds and selling calves they would normally sell much later in the year," said Armon Hewitt, AgriLife Extension agent for Trinity County, southwest of Lufkin.  "Some are still feeding hay, and many are still feeding cubes. Water levels in ponds and lakes continue to drop, with some drying up completely."

"Lakes, streams and ponds are low and some were never replenished from last year's drought," said Chad Gulley, AgriLife Extension agent for Nacogdoches County, north of Lufkin. "Some producers are trying to cut ryegrass hay. Ryegrass and clover are greening up in pastures, but we need rainfall to really make this grow. "

"All winter small grains have been harvested for silage" said Michael Berry, AgriLife Extension agent for Franklin County, east of Dallas. "We need rain badly."

"We need rain. The small grains are trying to head, and we need one more rainfall event to complete the crop," said Lyle Zoeller, AgriLife Extension agent for Coryell County, south of Fort Worth.  "Most fields are showing signs of moisture stress. All pastures are green but very short."

"Dry weather continues to take its toll on wheat," said Jerry Warren, AgriLife Extension agent for Callahan County, east of Abilene. "We'll need rain soon to salvage any wheat for grain. Most will be grazed out."

More information on the current Texas drought and wildfire alerts can be found on the AgriLife Extension Agricultural Drought Task Force webpage at

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