Southwest farmers and ranchers will have their eyes on the skies this week as weather reports indicate lower temperatures and good chances of rain covering much of the region.
If predictions hood, the next drought report could reflect some improvement over the latest, which shows little change from last week.
About 61 percent of Texas remains in moderate to exceptional drought with about 27 percent transitioning either into or out of drought. A section on the eastern “bulge” of Texas near the Louisiana State line shows up as drought free, along with a small spot on the Western edge of the Lower Rio Grande Valley.
A large swath in the upper Panhandle remains in extreme to exceptional drought status. The rest of the Panhandle and much of the Rolling Plains continues in severe drought status. Far West Texas is in better shape with mostly moderate or just abnormally dry status.
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By the numbers
The numbers show: 61 percent of the state in moderate to exceptional drought. That’s up one percentage point from last week and own three points from three months ago. At this time last year, 92 percent of the state was in moderate to exceptional drought.
Reservoirs are 67 percent full, about 15 percentage points below normal and “on a slight downward trend” from what’s typical for this time of year, according to the report.
Farmers in Northeast Texas report fair moisture for much of the spring but indicate a rain is needed to finish corn and grain sorghum. A recent trip through the area shows some corn is short and stressed; other fields are more promising.