is part of the Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

  • American Agriculturist
  • Beef Producer
  • Corn and Soybean Digest
  • Dakota Farmer
  • Delta Farm Press
  • Farm Futures
  • Farm Industry news
  • Indiana Prairie Farmer
  • Kansas Farmer
  • Michigan Farmer
  • Missouri Ruralist
  • Nebraska Farmer
  • Ohio Farmer
  • Prairie Farmer
  • Southeast Farm Press
  • Southwest Farm Press
  • The Farmer
  • Wallaces Farmer
  • Western Farm Press
  • Western Farmer Stockman
  • Wisconsin Agriculturist
Western Farmer Stockman

Soil-moisture levels vary widely across the state

From one end of the state to the other, conditions ranged from way too much rain, to just about right, to dry and drier. But everywhere it was hot to hotter, according to Texas AgriLife Extension Service personnel.

However, what exactly constituted too much or too hot was up for grabs. Far northern counties of the Panhandle, near the Oklahoma border, received so much rain that crops and fencing were washed out, but pastures and rangeland benefited. And cotton thrives on heat as long as there's enough moisture, according to AgriLife Extension agent reports.

"There was torrential rainfall and flooding across the whole county," said Scott Strawn, AgriLife Extension agent for Ochiltree County, northeast of Amarillo. "Playa lakes are full and overflowing. Crop areas near these lakes are now destroyed for the remainder of the season. The majority of the crops benefitted greatly from the rains, including the rangeland and pastures. However, cotton conditions worsened."

"(Parts of the) county received from 5 to 10-plus inches of rain this past weekend," said Burt Williams, AgriLife Extension agent for Hansford County, just to the west of Ochiltree County. "(There was) severe flooding and some crops were ruined by hail and flood water. Miles of fences were washed out."

But, Williams noted, much of the county was spared the worst of the damage, and many producers will see an excellent wheat harvest.

Farther south into the Panhandle there were some reports of hail, but the rains were more moderate, providing they came at all. In the Rolling Plains, rain was welcomed as the wheat harvest was nearly completed.

In Central Texas, rain was hit-and-miss. In Somervell County, AgriLife Extension agent Josh Blanek reported, "Topsoil moisture is getting very short and pasture conditions are beginning to deteriorate quickly. We have not had any substantial moisture in the last 60 days, and the upper 90 to 100 degree windy days are taking their toll."

Dallas County reported temperatures being above normal by 8-10 degrees for the last two weeks.

As for North Texas, after an extremely wet winter and early spring, rainfall has been below normal since March; in many counties, critically so.

"Delta County missed all the rains," said Michael Berry, AgriLife Extension agent for Delta County, near Commerce. "Crops need rain badly. Pastures were starting to look bad. We may have to start feeding hay, but there is not much of it to feed."

After torrential rains a few weeks ago, East Texas was beginning to dry out again. In other parts of the state, soil-moisture levels ranged from short to adequate. Where it wasn't rained out, wheat harvesting was either completed or nearly so.

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.