Weather in Texas this summer has been pretty normal—that is to say, no one could figure it out and when weather seemed to be establishing a pattern a storm blew in to end a drought or rain cut off to start one.
Overall, with the usual exceptions from one county to another or from one side of the road to the other, weather has helped a lot of producers establish the basis for good crops.
Two recent articles, one from Texas AgriLife Extension media and the other from the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, show the value of a timely rain or two on cropland across the region.
It’s too early to predict how many acres of vegetables Texas producers planted this year, and it’s too soon to know the value of the various crops, but Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service economists say so far, most crops look good.
Dr. Robert Hogan, AgriLife Extension economist in Uvalde, said producers had plenty of rainfall to assist irrigation in the southwest portion of the state where almost all vegetable fields are irrigated.
“It’s been marvelous,” he said, describing vegetable crop conditions this year. “Prices paid to producers depended on whether the producer was part of the first batch where there are typically better prices or later when the market can be saturated.”
An August rain may be one of the most welcome events possible for a West Texas cotton farmer. Some refer to these late-summer precipitation events as “million dollar rains,’ an apt description with several million acres of dryland cotton often needing one more rain to make a crop or to turn a mediocre one into a barn-buster.
Many producers in the parched High Plains were rejoicing Tuesday following one of those timely rainfalls. But not everyone. Some fields registered a drop or two; others recorded up to 3 inches.
“It was a real plus if you got some, but it wasn’t really a widespread situation,” said Calvin Trostle, a Texas A&M AgriLife agronomist specializing in grain crops.
Johnie Reed’s cotton patch was among the luckier ones. The Swisher County farmer cheerfully reported receiving between an inch and 2 inches.
“It’s wonderful,” he said. “A rain’s always welcome in our area.”