Latest rains bring more smiles

May 15, 2017

“He will also send you rain for the seed you place in the ground. And the food which comes from your land will be plentiful. In that day, your cattle will graze in lush meadows.” Isaiah 30:23

He has indeed sent rain for our seed this year. It is not that we have seen so much rain. It is more about the timeliness of it and the way it has fallen.

February and March were fairly dry but April brought rains of up to nearly four inches in some places. The driest areas in the county appear to be around the FM 402 area just off Highway 380. This area shows a little over two inches of rainfall this year.

In town, the SPUWCD office gauges show a little over six inches for the year, so there is quite a variance in amounts. But, overall, lately the rains have fallen fairly generally and almost everyone has a planting rain or two in their pocket as the planters begin to move through the fields.

This latest rain was a real mixed bag with some areas reporting less than a half inch and other areas reporting close to an inch. While this rain wasn’t that big, it is the fact that this rain came so closed on the heels of the last rain and has fallen so easily that makes the moisture so usable to producers.

Some small hail was reported in the Needmore area but no reports of damage were received.  For tender grapes trying to make, hail can be disastrous.

But, it is cotton and peanut planting time for row-crop farmers and, like the rainfall, planting progress is all over the charts.

Some of the guys are reporting their planting almost finished while others have yet to start. But with the sunny days and the great moisture in the ground, expect to see planters moving hard in the coming days.

Barrett Brown received from one half to three quarters of an inch of rain in the last rain event and plans to get his planter rolling Monday.

Mason Becker received around .6 inches of rain and stated, “I have my peanuts in and will start on cotton in the next few days.”

Garrett Green reported around .75 inches north of town with very little if any rain at Tokio. He plans to get his planters rolling soon.

James Harlan didn’t see any hail on any of his places and reported from one-half to nearly an inch of rain. “My peanuts are planted and I am about to start getting my cotton seed in.”

He also reports his farm plan is about the same as last year as far as ratio of peanuts to cotton.

Glen Martin, who is busy watching his daughter at the State Track Meet this week stated, “We got about .8 at the barn. We have planted 300 acres of peanuts and 300 acres of cotton right now. This is less peanuts than we had last year and my cotton acres will be up by about 25%.”

Eric Caswell reported seeing some pea size hail in some areas but no damage.

He has not started planting yet but will be beginning soon. He expected to finish listing this week. “I am hoping to get some dryland seed in the ground where the rain has met the underground moisture.”

He is not growing any peanuts this year. “Where I have water to grow them, I need to rotate due to potential soil disease. Plus, it is nice to have cotton behind peanuts for the rotation benefits,” Eric stated.

The Farm Bill is also on producers’ minds as Secretary Perdue takes over the Ag Department. With an old “row-crop” farmer at the helm and moisture in the ground, and with the market climbing a bit in the last week or so, the outlook is hopeful right now for our farmers.

But, keep praying for rain.

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Category: Agriculture