March 17, 2010
Warmer weather and sunshine dried out fields in parts of the state, allowing farmers back into fields, according to reports from Texas AgriLife Extension Service personnel. However, some parts of the state received more moisture, which continued to be a mixed blessing.
Corn planting was spotty in some areas, particularly central Texas, and farmers were unable to take full advantage of the added moisture to pastures and wheat because they couldn't get into the fields to fertilize. But the moisture, where there were warmer conditions, greened up pastures and relieved the strain on stressed hay supplies.
High winds came to the Far West region, which was another mixed blessing. The wind dried out soils, allowing farmers to do fieldwork, but it also dried out grasses, increasing the danger of wildfire.
"With most hay supplies wiped out, producers are grateful for the warmer temperatures," said Aaron Low, AgriLife Extension agent in Cherokee County, south of Tyler. "Warm-season grasses are beginning to germinate. Ryegrass fields are doing well with warmer temperatures and recent rainfall. Most producers are waiting on fields to dry up so they can begin fertilizing."
"No corn has been planted due to wet conditions," said Derek Scasta, AgriLife Extension agent in Navarro County, Corsicana. "This puts corn growers two weeks behind the ideal planting date at this stage. This may cause a shift in acres to grain sorghum and cotton. Wheat and oats have made significant progress."
"We finally got a few clear, warm days without rain and producers were finally able to get some corn planted," reported Jared Ripple, AgriLife Extension agent in Williamson County, south of Temple.
"Weather conditions for most of the week have been much improved in terms of temperature and sunshine," said Mark Currie, AgriLife Extension agent for Polk County, east of Huntsville. "Green-up of pastures is still slow due to cool night temperatures. Many producers are completely out of hay and are hopeful grazing will begin soon. In the meantime, they are feeding (protein) cubes and purchasing hay and whatever reasonably price method of feeding they can find to get by until grass comes on."
"Very windy conditions this week with extreme fire danger," reported Jesse Lea Schneider, AgriLife Extension agent in Presidio County, south of Fort Davis. "The locoweed crop was continuing to grow quickly and in large numbers. There were some reports of non-native yearlings consuming the weed and suffering the results. Most cattle were on supplemental feed and consuming large amounts of mineral."
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