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Texas Crop Report

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 24, 2015 at 3:37 pm •  Published: March 24, 2015

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — The following reports were compiled by AgriLife Extension Service for the week of March 24:

Central: All counties reported soil moisture as good, and rangeland and pastures conditions as being in good condition as well. Overall, crops and livestock were in fair condition. Fields were still too wet to work due to so much rain in the last two weeks. Producers were anxious to get corn planted. Cool-season weeds were flowering and finishing their life cycle. Small grains looked extremely good. Stock-water tanks were full, and in some counties, rivers were overflowing their banks. Pastures greened up, and livestock had good grazing. Ornamental trees and shrubs were blooming.

Coastal Bend: Soil moisture was excellent, with more rain forecast. Extremely wet conditions were considered a blessing, even though they pushed back corn and grain sorghum planting another two to four weeks. Corn growers were considering other alternate crops. Grain sorghum, cotton and soybeans all have either price or production issues, which increased risk. Corn planted before the rain was in decent condition — where not in standing water. Rice fieldwork was also delayed by wet weather. Pasture and rangeland conditions improved with the recent rains and warmer temperatures. Most livestock stock tanks were full. Creeks and rivers were swollen.

East: The region had significant rains. Many producers were reporting that pastures were more saturated than they have ever seen. They were finding it difficult to access pastures and hay yards. Most counties reported both subsoil and topsoil moisture as surplus. Smith County reported cattle bogged down in the mud. Cattle were slowing down on hay consumption with the warmer weather bringing grass growth, and were in fair to good condition. Spring calving continued. Calf prices continued to fluctuate; prices for slaughter cattle remained strong. Peach trees were blooming. Harrison County reported beaver problems with the higher water levels. Feral hogs continued to be active.

Far West: The region had spring-like weather. Some areas received 0.5 inch to 1.5 inches of rain. Subsoil moisture was mostly adequate, while topsoil moisture was adequate to short. Pastures and rangeland were mostly good to poor as grasses were beginning to green up. Producers were working ground for spring crop planting. Winter wheat was in fair condition, with grain mites reported in some locations. Grain sorghum was 50 percent planted, and upland cotton 100 percent planted. Oats were in fair to good condition. Alfalfa came out of dormancy and was growing.

North: Topsoil moisture was mostly adequate to surplus. One to 3 inches of rain was reported throughout the region. Temperatures were moderate with mostly cloudy days all week. Soils were saturated, and conditions muddy in pastures and wheat fields. No corn had been planted yet. Winter wheat looked better, but plantings in heavier soils were showing some stress. Ponds were full to overflowing in some areas. Creeks were full. Livestock were in good condition and grazing on ryegrass and clover. Wild hogs continued to damage fields.

Panhandle: Temperatures were near average most of the week, with from a trace to 1 inch of rain falling in some counties. Soil moisture was mostly short to adequate. Farmers were applying pre-plant herbicides, preparing fields for planting and finishing fertilizer applications. Winter wheat growth accelerated with warmer temperatures and rain. Crop consultants and producers were inspecting wheat for aphids and mites. Some wheat fields were treated for both pests. Producers were gearing up to plant corn soon. They may wait until the last minute to decide whether to plant cotton or grain sorghum. Cattle on wheat pasture were making great gains. Weeds were emerging, and producers were treating for them. Most rangeland and pastures were in good to fair condition. Cattle were in good condition, with producers continuing to provide supplemental feed.

Rolling Plains: Spring weather finally arrived, with warmer daytime temperatures and cool evenings. Some counties received from 2 to 3 inches of rain, which fell fast and hard, creating runoff. However, most counties reported that more runoff was needed to fill stock tanks and lakes. Some livestock were in fair condition, with most improving, thanks to winter annual forages becoming available. Many herds have finished calving. Warm-season grasses were just starting to show a small amount of green-up. Some producers were planting new grass, though many plantings were delayed due to rain. Farmers were slowly beginning to prepare fields for this year's cotton crop, but with low cotton prices and the new farm bill provisions, there may be considerably less cotton planted this year. Peach trees were in full bloom.

South: Rainfall continued throughout much of the region, further delaying harvesting and planting of crops. In the northern part of the region, wheat and potato crops were in good condition. Green beans were being planted and early planted corn began to emerge. Corn planting stalled out due to rain and wet field conditions. Winter wheat had grown above and beyond the usual for this time of the year. Winter pastures with oats were in excellent condition. As rangeland and pastures improved, livestock producers were able to reduce supplemental feeding of cattle. Subsoil moisture was adequate, with topsoil moisture as much as 100 percent surplus in some areas. In the eastern part of the region, planting of corn, rice and grain sorghum was still at a standstill because of wet conditions. Sorghum and cotton planting was as much as three weeks behind schedule. However, livestock producers no longer had to provide supplemental feed to cattle because of the good range and pasture forage conditions. Soil moisture conditions were 40 to 80 percent surplus in Duval County, 50 to 70 percent adequate in Jim Hogg County and 100 percent surplus in Jim Wells, Kleberg and Kenedy counties. In the western part of the region, consistent rainfall caused rangeland and pastures to continue to green up. Stock tanks were filling. Winter oats remained in fair condition. In Zavala County, producers were trying to get cotton, sorghum and corn seed in the ground by late week before forecast heavy rain. Spinach producers were harvesting fresh market and processing spinach. Cabbage harvesting was idle. Soil moisture was mostly adequate in Dimmit, Maverick and Webb counties, while it was 100 percent short in Zapata and Zavala counties. In the southern part of the region, planting of cotton and sorghum remained at a halt due to extremely wet soil in fields. Cold and wet field conditions further delayed sugarcane harvesting. Vegetable and citrus harvesting continued under muddy field conditions. Onion harvesting preparations continued in Starr County. Soil moisture was 100 percent surplus in Cameron County, 50 to 100 percent adequate in Hidalgo County and 95 percent surplus in Willacy County. Starr County soil moisture remained short.

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