Texas drought recedes, but conditions still dicey
Courtesy of USAgNet
The drought continued to recede in Texas with less than 14 percent of the state rated as being in an exceptional or extreme drought, according to the US Drought Monitor and Texas AgriLife Extension Service personnel.
Farmers' optimism rose in many areas as soil-moisture levels improved, making the harvesting of hay possible, improving pastures and rangeland, and bettering the chances for spring plantings to be successful.
"Producers are jumping for joy after all this rain," said Raymond Quigg, AgriLife Extension agent for Upton County. "The ranchers have seen the country start to green up a little.
Farmers are ready to plant seed ASAP.
Rangeland has had some moisture and the tint of brown has turned to a slim shade of green."
"Winter wheat and oats have been harvested with less than outstanding results that have been attributed to dry conditions at planting," said JD Folbre, AgriLife Extension agent for Karnes County. "However, a crop was made, and we are in better shape than last year at this time so many producers have a positive outlook.
Range and pasture conditions are improving but effects of the drought will take one to two consecutive years of average to above-average rainfall to overcome the effects."
But in other areas, particularly parts of the Rolling Plains and South Plains, despite a partial rollback of the drought, the outlook for some crops remained dire.
For example, Ryan Martin, AgriLife Extension agent for Motley County in the Rolling Plains, reported conditions were becoming dry again.