No “Rain, Rain Go Away” from Texas Producers Yet

Farmers aren’t too far removed from 2011 to say “rain, rain, go away,” but they also know too much of a good thing can be detrimental to crops, said Dusty Tittle, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agent for Brazos County.

Tittle said farmers won’t speak negatively about spring rains because of drought conditions that gripped the state five years ago, but they are aware of the problems associated with standing water, flooding and overall gloomy weather.

“They remember the drought, but they also know too much water can be just as destructive,” he said. “Farmers don’t like extremes. They like middle of the road, but the pendulum is swinging from one side to the other.”

Producers in Brazos County and surrounding areas have experienced damages including lost or stunted crops and washed away fences, Tittle said. However, he said, many crops in areas that drain are doing well with the moisture.

There were AgriLife Extension reports of submerged corn cobs and limited access to fields.

The weather continues to put a damper on producers’ access to fields to apply fertilizer and herbicides or even load cattle. Cattle sale volumes at the Navasota Livestock Auction Co. were well below average due to more than 15 inches of rain and severe weather, including an F-2 tornado, according to AgriLife Extension reports.

The auction house had 298 head come to market when a typical weekend sale draws between 800-1,200 head, according to auction company staff.

If producers choose to apply herbicides, pesticides and plant growth regulators to crops, Tittle said it would have to be by airplane for a while.

Tittle said bottomland is so saturated that additional rains would likely leave more standing water. Signs of stress on corn due to too much water hasn’t been seen yet but there is concern rains may affect plant pollination.

Fledgling cotton crops have suffered from too much water and too little sunshine as well, he said.

“We really need sunshine and wind for an extended time,” he said.

AgriLife Extension district summaries can be found here.

Source: Texas AgriLife

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