Weather and the aftermath of storms, floods, planting delays and crop damage continue to dominate agriculture news reports. From farmers racing to get crops in before planting deadlines, updates on flood control, setbacks in young crops from too-wet soils, to warnings on potential mosquito-borne diseases that could affect livestock, the spring rainy season has created severe challenges for farmers, ranchers and landowners across the Southwest.
Here are links to recent reports.
Wet Conditions delay cotton
The Midland Reporter-Telegram published a piece on how wet conditions are delaying cotton planting in its story: “Sodden fields have cotton farmers racing against the clock Insurance policies mandate planting deadline.”
Flood control is working
The Oklahoma Conservation Commission sent out a story damage to flood control infrastructure following record rainfall this spring.
Oklahoma’s entire flood control infrastructure suffered wear and tear during a month of historic rainfall. As floodwaters recede, crews are inspecting the 2,107 dams operated by conservation districts for damage. Repair estimates run “in the millions of dollars. See more at the Conservation Commission website.
Texas AgriLife crop report
In the weekly weather and crop update, Texas AgriLife Extension specialists and county agents report some optimism that corn set back by wet, cool conditions likely will recover, to some extent.
But it’s difficult to make broad generalizations about the crop because earlier wet weather delayed planting and fields are in various stages of maturity, said Dr. Ronnie Schnell, AgriLife Extension state cropping systems specialist, College Station.
From weekly reports by AgriLife Extension county agents, Blacklands area corn also exhibited some substantial yellowing due to wet conditions. Schnell said he won’t be able to tour the area until next week but expects to see about the same situation there as in the Gulf Coast region.
Some Panhandle producers have also had to delay planting of corn due to wet conditions and were considering either earlier maturing corn hybrids or other crops such as grain sorghum, according AgriLife Extension county agent reports.
PCG reports too much rain at the wrong time
The weekly Plains Cotton Growers newsletter reports farmers are putting in long hours to plant cotton before the insurance deadline.
The report reads: Typically, by the end of May, area farmers have their irrigated acreage planted and are finishing up dryland fields, regardless of their final planting date. So far, planting activity has varied from county to county, based on the amount of rainfall received, the timing of that rainfall, and soil conditions. Producers have been working late into the night, utilizing every available second they can.
The PCG weekly newsletter also reports that about 85 percent of the region's cotton crop is in counties with a June 5 or June 10 final plant date. More than half is in counties that must be planted by June 5.
TAHC encourages livestock owners to check with veterinarians
Recent flooding across Texas has created an ideal environment for mosquito activity, which could be troublesome for horses. Mosquito-borne diseases such as Eastern Equine Encephalitis, Western Equine Encephalitis, Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis (VEE), and West Nile Virus pose threats to equine.
Eastern, Western, and Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis are reportable diseases to the TAHC.