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Big Rains Restrain Field Activity

On Saturday, a large portion of the KGNC listening area received yet another big dose of moisture. Amarillo received 2.45 inches of rain on that day, and the city’s official year-to-date rainfall total has been running better than eight inches above average.

Rain is a good thing. But, when you get a whole lot of it all at once, it can cause complications for farmers. The USDA Crop Progress report shows there were just 2.2 days deemed “suitable for field work” across Texas last week. In other words, it’s simply too muddy to plant for many farmers.

Texas A&M AgriLife Agronomist Dr. Jourdan Bell said producers must let their fields dry down before they attempt to plant because, if conditions are too wet, “the producer can be faced with a big mess.” That “big mess” can consist of “soil compaction, improper seeding depth, [and even] improper placement of that seed.”

With all of these potential problems, Bell said the best way to overcome these wet conditions is for producers to “let things dry down for a couple of days and then when you are able to get into the field slow down and maintain the planter’s down pressure.”

Some area farmers have had a little better luck lately. Bell said not everyone was hit by Saturday’s big rains, For instance, Bell said, “The Northern Panhandle only received about .4 to 1.5 inches, with some areas reporting no rainfall at all.” Bell added that, “with the much needed sun and the warmer weather,” farmers in those areas have probably had a chance to be more active over the past few days. However, the holdup in the Central Panhandle has continued. “Vega and all the way across to Pampa  saw 2 to 4 inches of rain on Saturday morning, so in those areas that had already received several inches of rain earlier last week we’re going to have some significant delays,” Bell said.

Even though Bell indicated that many producers in the Northern portion of the Panhandle would more than likely be planting this week, the key to when they can is the “sun and warmer weather.” For many farmers, such opportunity could be short-lived. Much of the KGNC listening area is projected to have fairly strong chances of rain beginning tonight and on through the weekend.  

Heavy rains have taken their toll on the pace of planting all across Texas this spring. USDA reports that 77 percent of the state’s corn has been planted compared with a 95 percent five-year average for what is normally planted by this point on the calendar. For cotton, the situation is worse: just 29 percent planted versus a 50 percent five-year average.

IPM Coordinator Training

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension is offering a one-day training for integrated pest management coordinators on June 11 in Amarillo. The fee is $135. For more information and to register, go here

Check Your Selections

As farmers continue adapting to the new farm bill, there is news from Texas Corn Producers concerning the Agricultural Risk Coverage Program. TCP is advising producers of corn and other commodities to check their farm program selections due to changes the Farm Service Agency has made to yields. For more information, go here


KGNC Golden Spread Agribusiness Hour

The KGNC Golden Spread Agribusiness Hour is your daily opportunity to hear from agriculture newsmakers from around the region. The program airs Monday through Friday from 5 a.m. to 6 a.m. on KGNC-AM.

In addition to bringing you the insights of ag experts from around the High Plains region, our show also offers up-to-the-minute market information, veterinary news, wildlife reports, and features that explore the daily endeavor of those good people – the farmers and livestock producers – who provide us with the food and fiber we all need.

If you are unable to listen to the Agribusiness Hour live, remember you can hear recordings of past programs in podcast form by going here:

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