Cool temperatures continued to slow crop development across the state, and land preparation remained slow as light to moderate rain showers fell in many locations, says the Texas Agricultural Statistics Service April 17.

Some areas were still void of any moisture, while streams overflowed their banks in portions of east Texas.

Cattle movement continued, and supplemental feeding remained necessary in the drier areas. Water available for livestock remained critical in these areas.

Land preparation continued in most areas and some growers began watering to help prevent the soil from blowing. In areas where rains continued, supplemental feeding continued to decline, and available stock water began to return to more normal levels. Some hay fields were being baled in a few areas.

Conditions for small grains remained varied across the state. Many remaining fields of wheat and oats were being baled for hay where the weather permitted. Heading continued on the Plains; however, in many cases, the only grains that will be combined will come from fields where irrigation was possible. Statewide wheat condition was rated 39% of normal, compared with 63% last year.

Corn planting remained active on the Plains and north central Texas. Some planting was on hold in the High Plains as growers were waiting for drier conditions. Cultivation continued in southern areas and the Rio Grande Valley where some early corn was beginning to tassel. Statewide corn condition was rated 79% of normal, compared with 72% last year.

Some early cotton reached the pinhead square stage in southern areas, while some replanted cotton was emerging. Good stands occurred in areas where soil moisture and temperatures were adequate. Moisture will be needed in a few areas before planting can begin, while some other areas need to dry before planting can begin.

Sorghum planting continued to move northward as weather conditions allowed. A few fields have headed in southern areas. Cultivation continued where necessary; however, some progress was slowed due to wet fields. Statewide sorghum condition was rated 80% of normal, compared with 76% last year.

Peanut land preparation continued in all the growing areas, and planting has started in south Texas.

Soybean land preparation remained active where possible and planting continued along the upper Coast and south central Texas. Most stands remained favorable.

Green-up of range and pasture continued in most areas of the state; however, in the Trans Pecos area almost nothing was green. Some producers in these areas that have held on to livestock were considering liquidation. Planting of new grass continued in other locations where soil moisture and temperatures were adequate. Supplemental feeding continued to decline and virtually stopped in the wetter areas. In a few areas, grasshopper populations were continuing to expand.

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