Home Farm Equipment Million-dollar rain or tough start in South Texas

Million-dollar rain or tough start in South Texas


The early Could weekend rain that inundated a lot of South Texas was each blessing and curse, relying on geography.

For farmers in the Corpus Christi space, the two inches of rain was a godsend. “This was a million-dollar rain for Nueces and San Patricio counties,” says Josh Mcginty, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension specialist, Corpus Christi.

On the flip facet, Clyde Crumley, an unbiased crop advisor in El Campo, says a lot of his cotton purchasers have been laborious hit.

Flooded cotton subject close to Pierce, Texas. This newest rain described as a blessing and a curse. (Photograph by Benamin Crumley)

“In the 13 years since I’ve been in this area, this has been the hardest start I’ve seen,” Crumley says. “Early on, we had a combination of unusually cold weather and dry conditions. Cotton farmers wanted to get the crop up. Some fared well; some did not. Stand problems were mostly weather-related.”

Hodgepodge planting

He says most growers “muddled through and got a lot planted. It was a hodgepodge of planting dates, and a lot planted into dry soils, cold and dry.”

He stated outcomes embrace poor stands they normally don’t see. Planting-time drought was additionally an element. “We were seeing deep cracks in the soil early in the season.”

This newest rain, he stated, was “a blessing and a curse unexpectedly.  It began originally of the weekend (April 30-Could 2). It stopped on Monday (Could 3) and moved off to the East.

Crumley says in many locations, rain gauges overflowed. “One gauge at my house tops out at 5 inches. I had two more inches after that.”

He says a rainfall app that sometimes reveals rainfall quantities inside a tenth of an inch confirmed greater rainfall quantities than gauges have been exhibiting.

“My son and partner, Benjamin, says his rain gauge, near Egypt, Texas, showed 3 inches; the app said 5.”

Crumley says the best quantity he’s seen in his space is 9 inches. “The least is about 6.  We see some uncertainty. The TV stations are reporting as much as 10 inches.”

He says whether or not the correct measurement is 6 inches or 10, the world bought a number of rain. “Some folks are asking, after 6 inches, what difference does it make?”

Crumley says Benjamin experiences that in his space he can’t get a four-wheeler into many fields. “He’s seeing a lot of flooding, no bridges out, but high water has moved into fields along the rivers.”

Too early to evaluate

Assessing injury this early is difficult, he provides. “We have no accurate assessment of the number of acres affected. It’s still early to evaluate a lot of the cotton acreage. We just have to wait and see. We’re just starting to get after it.”

Crumley says the Coastal Bend space sometimes will get 46 inches of annual rainfall. Timing is at all times a difficulty. “It’s not out of the ordinary to get a 5- or 6-inch rain.”

Cotton farmers might have been the toughest hit. “Corn loves it,” he says. “We had outstanding corn yields last year and are hoping for another good year.”

He says most of his purchasers are diversified with cotton, corn, and a few grain sorghum. “We don’t scout corn a lot.”

He expects cotton acreage in the world will probably be near final 12 months’s planting, “maybe a little bit more.” Corn will keep acreage as properly. “Corn prices have been good. It did well last year, and the price is good so far this year. Will it stay up? I’m not an economist, but for now, it looks good.” He says sorghum acreage seemingly will probably be off from final 12 months.

West and East

Crumley says the system that dropped rain on his space appears to have been pretty heavy as far west as Victoria and east to Houston. He says a drive west reveals some flooded fields.

McGinty says experiences point out heavy rainfall in the Victoria and Port Lavaca space. Cotton may very well be weak.

“I imagine most of the cotton up there is around 4 to 6 leaf. A lot of growers in that area plant on raised beds, which will help with aeration as those field drain off.”

He says latest visits to that space point out fields have principally drained “as of this morning (May4). Cotton doesn’t like wet feet and will turn yellow for a few days, but I expect it to recover quickly.”

The rain in Nueces County was not heavy sufficient to trigger severe crop injury and was well timed.

“In the Corpus area, we didn’t receive enough to be a problem,” Mcginty says. “We recorded near 2 inches at our analysis station in central Nueces County. Near the gulf, totals are near 4 inches.

“It was a slow rain for the most part, and I’ve not seen much standing water.”

That’s a money-making rain for growers who began dry.


Latest rainfall additionally helps Decrease Rio Grande Valley cotton and grain producers.

“We had a good rain Friday and Saturday (April 30, May 1),” says Webb Wallace govt director, Cotton and Grain Producers of the Decrease Rio Grande Valley. The realm missed the torrential rain that hit the Coastal Bend areas.

“We had been in a bad drought. About one-third of the dryland cotton has already been abandoned for insurance,” Wallace says. “We had another rain about two weeks ago that helped grain sorghum.”

He says a lot of the deserted cotton acreage will go to “uninsured grain. Grain sorghum offers a pretty good price.”

“Grain is doing okay. We had some skippy stands because of the drought but we caught a good rain and most looks good now.”

Wallace says boll weevil traps have recorded low numbers on the estimated 180,000 acres planted in the Valley. “That number includes the acreage already abandoned,” he says. Final 12 months, producers deserted some 30,000 acres of cotton early.

“I just hope we get back to an average year,” Wallace says. “We don’t know what a ‘normal’ year would be.”








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