Nearly all of the Texas received rain during the last two weeks, but even where the rains were substantial, the drought was far from over, according to Texas AgriLife Extension Service reports.
Since early October, the Rolling Plains, Central and North regions received the most rain, with accumulations of 6 inches and more, with 2 to 3 inches common, according to the National Weather Service's daily precipitation analysis. San Antonio and surrounding counties received 2 inches or more. With a few exceptions, the rest of the state received from a trace to about 2 inches.
Where the rains were substantial, the agricultural benefits were great, replenishing livestock water tanks and ponds, and encouraging farmers to plant winter forages and prepare fields for fall planting.
However, the general consensus from AgriLife Extension county agents was that much more rain is needed to sustain winter crops.
"Rainfall received this week was from 0.5 inch to more than 1 inch across the county," said Greg Jones, AgriLife Extension agent in Garza County, southeast of Lubbock. "The rainfall will help for a short period of time, but additional rainfall will be needed. Small-grain crops will emerge with current moisture but will not be sustained."
"Most of the county received 1 inch to 2 inches of rain this week," said Steven Sparkman, AgriLife Extension agent in Hardeman County, northwest of Wichita Falls. "This is the first rain in a year, measuring over an inch at one time for most of the county. Wheat producers will wait several days for volunteer wheat and weeds to come up then spray to kill it and plant the 2012 wheat crop. This rain was nice, but leaves us about 18 inches below normal."
"After a good rain this past weekend, farmers are firing up tractors and grain drills to get wheat planting under way," said Justin Gilliam, AgriLife Extension agent in Archer County, south of Wichita Falls. "While some farmers are having to replant, most are just now putting seed in the ground. Tanks and streams are all at least half full, while some are overflowing."
"We got rain last weekend. Most areas received 1 inch to 5 inches," said Scott Anderson, AgriLife Extension agent in Brown County, southwest of Fort Worth.
"Most stock tanks caught some water; some filled up. There was increased field activity: plowing and planting small-grain fields. Most pastures will not be able to grow much grass or forage due to cooler nighttime temps."
"The county received from 3 to 7 inches of rainfall over the weekend, but there was no runoff water, and stock water is still a grave concern," said David Winkler, AgriLife Extension agent in Bosque County, between Dallas and Waco.
More information on the current Texas drought and wildfire alerts can be found on the AgriLife Extension Agricultural Drought Task Force website at http://agrilife.tamu.edu/drought/.