Rain helped, but East Texas still dry

Rain helped, but East Texas still dry

Mild fall weather conducive to harvesting in most of Texas Much of East Texas and Central Texas remained dry Short hay supply for many East Texas counties

While most of the state enjoyed mild fall weather that was conducive to harvesting row crops and even taking another hay cutting, much of East Texas and parts of Central Texas remained dry, according to Texas AgriLife Extension Service personnel.

East Texas got some relief from drought conditions as a cool front brought an inch or more of rain over the weekend.

Though the rain was welcome, many East Texas counties remained critically dry and with short hay supplies going into the winter, said Agrilife Extension county agents.

"We got our first rain yesterday, the first rain in at least a month to a month and half," said Randy Reeves, AgriLife Extension agent for Harrison County, north of Longview.

Harrison County has had only a 0.5 inch of rain in the last two months, Reeves said.

"I heard that as of a week or two ago, Harrison County was the driest county in the state," he said. "I don't know if that's true or not, but we're really dry here."

Reeves said there was a lot of damage to existing pasture stands, and some of the producers in his area have been feeding hay to livestock for the last month.

"We've got folks who have been frantically calling to even find hay to buy," he said.

Reeves said that if producers in northeast Texas have hay to sell, they may call his office at 903-935-8413.

"We'll be glad to hear from you," he said.

To the south, in Rusk County, the situation isn't quite so dire, mainly thanks to the cold front bringing 3 inches or more of rain, said Blaine Jernigan, AgriLife Extension agent.

Until the rain, Rusk County had burn bans in effect. The rain will allow producers to plant winter pastures, Jernigan said.

Earlier rains helped the hay situation, and although there won't be a surplus, most livestock producers should have enough to get their herds through the winter, he said.

"We've had a tough, dry year of it, for sure," Jernigan said.

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