Snow, rain benefits crops
The Northern and Southern High Plains regions experienced significant snowfall during the week ending March 3, accompanied by high winds, resulting in snow drifts across the area, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Texas Field Office, March 4.
While other districts in the northern and eastern parts of the state experienced some level of precipitation, helping topsoil moisture, subsoil moisture continues to be lacking. High winds impacted other districts across the state as well, drying out topsoil moisture in areas that received little to no precipitation.
Winter wheat in the Panhandle and Blacklands benefitted from precipitation, and irrigated fields continued to make good progress. Winter wheat in North East Texas was reported in good condition; however, in other areas of the state, small grains were struggling due to poor moisture and windy conditions.
Favorable soil moisture conditions in the Blacklands and North East Texas allowed producers to start planting corn and sorghum; however, sorghum planting in the Lower Valley slowed while producers awaited additional moisture. South Central Texas producers finished up final preparations for planting corn. In the Plains, producers began pre-watering fields and preparing for spring planting.
Fruit trees from East Texas to the Edwards Plateau started to bud and produce shoots, while farmers in East Texas continued planting onions and potatoes. In South Texas, some potato crops suffered damage from high winds. Other spring vegetable crops were also in mostly good condition.
Heavy snowfall in the Northern Plains stressed cattle herds, with some producers reporting losses. East Texas producers saw winter forage conditions improve with some able to start grazing ryegrass pastures, and areas in South Central Texas also had winter forages beginning to emerge. Farmers in the Edwards Plateau began applying fertilizer and weed control to coastal fields. Pasture conditions in South Texas were poor due to lack of moisture and high winds.