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Texas Rain Spurs Wheat Planting; Slows Cotton Harvesting

02 October 2013

US - Though much of the state remained under severe drought, rainfall during the last two weeks shrank the areas of extreme drought, according to the US Drought Monitor and reports from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service personnel throughout the state.

The Sept. 24 Drought Monitor showed about 48 per cent of the state under severe drought, compared to 64 per cent the week before. Extreme drought was reduced from 25 per cent to 8 per cent for the same time period.

The drought monitor defines “extreme drought” as when there are major crop and pasture losses, and widespread water shortages or restrictions.

Precipitation during the last two weeks ranged from highs of 8 inches or more in much of East Texas and parts of Central and West Central regions, to lows of 0.5 to 1 inch in parts of the Panhandle and Far West Texas, according the National Weather Service’s precipitation analysis.

Crop reports from AgriLife Extension county agents throughout the state widely varied as to harvest and soil-moisture levels.

However, producers in most areas took the improved soil-moisture levels as a cue to plant wheat and small grains for winter grazing – if they hadn’t already dry planted.

Wheat planted earlier benefited greatly from the rain, but in some areas there were reports of grasshoppers and armyworms damaging the newly emerged crop.

In Central Texas, the cotton harvest was nearly completed, with some delays due to rain, according to AgriLife Extension county agent reports.

Cotton in the South Plains was helped by warm weather, but was still approximately 10 days behind in maturity in some areas. Bolls were opening in the Rolling Plains, particularly in dryland fields where moisture was limited until recently.

TheCropSite News Desk



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