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Heavy Rains Benefit Wheat but Delay Other Plantings

Heavy Rains Benefit Wheat but Delay Other Plantings

22 April 2015

US - More rainstorms have swept over much of the Texas, leaving fields too soggy to work in many areas, but generally benefiting wheat, pastures and rangeland, according to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service personnel.

Planting of corn, cotton, rice, grain sorghum and soybeans continued to lag behind the five-year average. Planting of sunflowers, at 10 per cent completed, was actually slightly ahead of the five-year average of 9 percent, according to the AgriLife Extension agent reports.

Thunderstorms and high winds and/or hail in parts of the Panhandle and South Texas knocked down some wheat. In other areas, dryland wheat didn’t receive moisture at the right time and was stressed. But generally, winter wheat was doing well, thanks to plentiful moisture, according to the AgriLife Extension agent reports.

According to the National Weather Service, most of the Coastal Bend and Southeast regions, and parts of South and East Texas received 10 inches or more of rain in the last two weeks. More than 15 inches was received in isolated areas.

Parts of the Panhandle remained the exception. Producers in Deaf Smith and Randall counties still needed rain for newly planted corn and dryland wheat. Rolling Plains producers were still welcoming any rain received as it helped rangeland recover from the drought and will give spring plantings a good chance this year.

In many parts of the state to the east of US Interstate 35, the continued rain was too much of a good thing. However, comments from AgriLife Extension county agents indicated producers weren’t complaining that much, despite soggy, muddy fields and delayed plantings.

In North Texas, continued rain caused flooding and delayed corn planting past the crop insurance deadline and made it too wet to fertilize wheat. In Van Zandt County, the Tawakoni and Fork lakes were nearly full for the first time in more than five years, said Tommy Phillips, AgriLife Extension agent there.

Lakes and streams were also full to overflowing in East Texas, according to reports from AgriLife Extension agents there. Winter pastures were doing well – perhaps too well – as ryegrass could not be removed from pastures because of wet conditions, and was over-shading warm-season grasses and hindering their growth.

In the Coastal Bend region, continued saturated field conditions in Nueces County prompted cotton growers to exercise prevented-planting options and leave acreage not yet planted fallow due to crop insurance planting deadlines.

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