Widely scattered rain and warmer temperatures were common across many regions of the state during the week ending March 28, leading soil moisture to be adequate across most areas, but still lacking a little in some locations in the western half of the state, according to the Texas Agricultural Statistics Service, March 29.
Most producers welcomed the drier weather as it allowed field work to continue. Land preparation and planting of various summer crops moved forward in all regions. Cattle continued to graze on rapidly improving pastures. Calving, lambing and kidding were ongoing. Harvest of crawfish in extreme Southeast Texas was in full swing.
Improvement from the last few weeks of precipitation and warm weather was evident across all regions. Producers were restocking cattle to many fields to take advantage of spring growth. Wheat was beginning to head out in Central Texas and parts of the Blacklands. Fields were approaching boot stage from the Southern Low Plains through North Central Texas. Green bugs and brown Wheat mites have been observed in the Panhandle. In the Blacklands, producers were hoping for more sunshine to improve the situation with powdery mildew and rust on wheat. Growers were spraying accordingly. Statewide, Wheat condition was rated at 59 percent of normal compared with 66 percent last year.
Corn planting was in full swing in Central Texas. Many counties in the region were finishing up. Planting dates were quickly approaching in the Panhandle, and producers should begin planting within the next few weeks. Land preparation and pre watering were active. Earlier planted corn in southern and central regions had emerged and was up to six inches tall.
Producers in the Panhandle and the South Plains were busy with field preparations such as cultivation to keep sand down and applying yellow herbicides. Cotton was being planted in Central Texas and the Upper Coast when conditions allowed. Planting was nearing completion in the Coastal Bend and Rio Grande Valley. Emergence was reported in earlier planted fields. Adequate moisture was present in most cotton producing areas.
Sorghum planting continued in Central Texas and will begin shortly in the Blacklands. Field preparations were ongoing in the Panhandle and South Plains. Earlier planted fields in southern regions had emerged and were off to a good start.
Land preparations and fieldwork for Peanuts resumed where conditions allowed. Rice planting picked up momentum as fields dried out from previous rains. Soybean planting was picking up speed in the Upper Coast and Blacklands. Field preparation continued on the Plains.
Pecans trees were beginning to bud in Central Texas and the Edwards Plateau. Grape vines were getting pruned on some vineyards on the South Plains. In the Rio Grande Valley, harvest of citrus, greens, cabbage, and carrots continued. Spring melons appeared to be progressing well. Moisture was adequate. In the San Antonio-Winter Garden, onions continued to develop and were reported to be in favorable condition. Spinach harvest was nearly complete. Cabbage harvest was ongoing. Some cabbage remaining in the field showed mildew and other fungal problems.
Cattle remained in fair to good condition with the Spring green-up and adequate moisture over the past few weeks. Many improved Wheat pastures were being restocked. Supplemental feeding decreased in most regions. Cattle activities across the state included calving, culling, replacing heifers, and branding. Pasture and rangeland in eastern and coastal regions dried out from excessive moisture. Weeds were a problem in many regions, and some producers were spraying accordingly. Lambing and kidding were active in the Edwards Plateau. Stock tank levels were higher than a month ago, but most producers in western regions would still like more rain.