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Spring Not a Good Sign for Parched South Central Plains

Spring Not a Good Sign for Parched South Central Plains

A brief blast of spring could have adverse impacts for winter wheat, pastures and rangeland.

Much of the country is experiencing a brief taste of spring this week, but USDA Meteorologist Brad Rippey says in the South-Central United States it's not necessarily the most welcome sight in the world. Especially for winter wheat or livestock growers in places like Texas.

"We've got wheat now, 58% of it now rated very poor to poor in Texas," Rippey said. "More than half, 51%, of the range and pasture land in Texas rated in very poor to poor shape as of February 13 according to USDA NASS."

With temperatures at or above 80 degrees this week following subzero temperatures last week, Rippey says we may find out how that drought stressed, poorly established, winter stressed wheat is going to fair. He says he is afraid that in some places the news won't be all that good.

Rippey noted that even some snowfall in the South-Central U.S. failed to permeate into the parched soils of the region.

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