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Panhandle rainfall helps thirsty crops, pasturesPanhandle rainfall helps thirsty crops, pastures

August 25, 2006

1 Min Read

Most of the Texas Panhandle received some rain in recent days, from one-quarter to 3 inches. Heavy rains around Amarillo provided water for some “very thirsty” crops and pasture grass, says Brent Bean, Texas Cooperative Extension agronomist based in Amarillo.

“I am sure some fields had washout problems, but overall the rains have been a tremendous asset,” he says. “The rains were just in time for those in our area who will be planting wheat or triticale for grazing. They also provide soil moisture for wheat grain producers who will be planting in another three weeks or so.”

Corn in the region is about 70 percent dent and rated fair to good.

“A lot of the corn is two to three weeks away from harvest, and most farmers would have had to irrigate at least one more time to finish out the crop,” Bean says. “So, these rains will literally save corn farmers thousands of dollars in irrigation costs.”

Sorghum is about 70 percent headed and rated poor to good.

“A lot of the grain sorghum is in the flowering stage, so the rains will be very beneficial to the crop,” Bean says.

Cotton is rated very poor to excellent, but most areas are reporting fair to good. Some dryland fields are a total loss.

“Most cotton farmers were beginning to cut back on irrigation, so the rains probably are not as beneficial for this crop as some of the others,” Bean says.

Chances of precipitation are forecast for the area again starting Aug. 25.

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