Warmer than Usual Texas Temperatures Helping Some, Hurting Others

Higher-than-normal temperatures have extended the growing season for some producers but challenged product quality in winter crops, said a Texas A&M AgriLife expert.

Temperatures were still reaching the mid-80s around the district, which was good for some producers, but not ideal for others, said Dr. Larry Stein, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service horticulturist, Uvalde.

“We’ve been exceptionally warm with one cool front,” he said. “Temperatures are expected to cool some in the next week or so, but it’s been interesting.”

Stein said producers who planted spring crops for fall, including squash and peppers, were benefitting from unusually warm temperatures.

“Those producers are happy to have their fields still producing high-value crops,” he said.

Disease pressure has been low due to the dry conditions, he said, though there has been an increase in pest pressure from worms due to warmer temperatures.

Tremendous rain events last year caused disease issues for fall and winter crops, but those same rains followed by spring rain events replenished water reservoirs for irrigation.

Overall conditions are also good for typical winter crops such as cabbage and spinach, but Stein said those plant species mature better in cooler temperatures.

Spinach has been planted during the last four weeks and performing well under irrigation, he said. Plantings and harvests should continue until February.

Cabbage planted in late July looked good, and broccoli was coming on as well, Stein said. He said the warm weather likely affected cabbage yields because plants fill out better under cooler temperatures.

“We’ve got the International Spinach Conference in San Antonio in late November and first of December, so we hope to have some good fields to tour by that time,” he said.

AgriLife Extension district summaries can be found here.

Source: Texas AgriLife Extension

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