Weather, mostly of the wet variety, has been the focus for Texas AgriLife Extension specialists over the past two weeks.
Recent reports from the Texas A&M ag communications team detail numerous problems with heavy or persistent rain. Some precipitation has been beneficial, supplying much-needed soil moisture to get summer crops up and off to a vigorous start. In some cases, however, too much rain has caused crop damage, requiring re-planting in many cases and switching to alternate crops in some fields.
Here are a few of the issues Texas Extension specialists are following.
Several waves of heavy rain and flooding hit some corn fields at critical times, says Dr. Ronnie Schnell, AgriLife Extension state cropping systems specialist in College Station.
Schnell says some regions will recover with limited losses once sunshine and drier conditions return, but others will see producers eyeing alternative crops where extreme losses are experienced.
Flooding has displaced “hundreds of head” of livestock along the Brazos River over the past few weeks, prompting a rapid response from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agent strike teams.
Two holding/shelter facilities and one Livestock Supply Point have been set up to handle the flow of livestock and companion animals displaced by recent floodwaters, according to John O’Connell, AgriLife Extension coastal and marine resources agent, Brazoria County.
In addition to livestock displacement, persistent rainfall also increases the potential for increased pressure from parasites and pests on Texas livestock.
“Wet weather creates conditions favorable for parasites to infect animals on pasture,” said Dr. Rick Machen, AgriLife Extension livestock specialist based in Uvalde.
Machen says the biggest challenge for cattle is the brown stomach worm. Affected animals lose weight and in severe cases may die of overwhelming clinical ostertagiasis, a disease characterized by severe diarrhea, edema and serious weight loss.
Hay producers in East Texas took advantage of several days of sunshine to make hay. dried out fields and provided a window of opportunity for.
Dr. Vanessa Corriher-Olson, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service forage specialist, Overton, noted a boon in activity, including cutting, raking and baling last week following a month of rain and cool temperature delays for most producers in East.