All over state, Texas weather remains ‘ hot & dry’
By Robert Burns
Texas conditions could be simply summed up as “hot and dry.” But read between the lines and you’ll find drought severely stressing crops, livestock, agricultural producers and rural communities, according to Texas AgriLife Extension Service personnel.
“The crops continue to be affected adversely by the continuing drought,” said Ron Holcomb, AgriLife Extension agent for Liberty County, northeast of Houston. “Pastures are also being adversely affected by the drought. They decline each day without rain. Some pastures are almost at the point of bare ground.”
“Feeding and-or selling of cattle due to the drought is becoming common now,” said Joe Janak, AgriLife Extension agent for Victoria County, southeast of San Antonio. “Conditions are remaining dry too long to continue in the cattle business without rain or feeding.”
“Range and pasture conditions continue to decline with the high heat and dry conditions,” noted Isaac Cavazos, AgriLife Extension agent for McMullen County, between Laredo and San Antonio. “Forage supply is declining and stock tank water levels remain at critically low levels, which is causing cattle to bog down. Herds are being liquidated in areas where water in stock tanks has dried up.”
“Temperatures have soared well over 100 degrees for more than two weeks now,” said Rogelio Mercado, AgriLife Extension agent for Jim Wells County, west of Corpus Christi. “No rainfall has been received and conditions continue to decline. Livestock producers are forced to cull extensively, and many are early weaning calves to avoid further stress on their remaining herds.”
“We had a very hot and dry week with temperatures reaching over 106 degrees,” said George L. Gonzales, AgriLife Extension agent for Webb County, Laredo. “High evaporation rates on stock tanks and an increase in supplemental feeding is being reported. Ranchers are trying to hold on waiting for good rainfall.”
More information on drought in Texas can be found at the Drought Joint Information Center website, http://agrilife.tamu.edu/drought/.
Additionally, dry weather with record or near-record high temperatures continues, contributing to a very dry soil profile.
The San Antonio Water System has been in Stage II emergency water rationing for almost a month. On June 27, the Edwards Aquifer water level was only two feet above the mandatory Stage III declaration requirement, which calls for the curtailment of lawn watering and other industrial water uses.
Forage availability is very short with pastures and rangeland making almost no progress.