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Texas crop and weather-Feb. 17, 2023

published: February 17th 2023
by: Adam Russell
source: Southern Livestock Standard

CENTRAL - Winter weather hit the area hard, with up to 1.5 inches of freezing rain and sleet. Soil moisture levels were adequate, but rangeland and pasture conditions remained very poor. Icy conditions made travel difficult and were hard on livestock. Supplemental feeding continued and hay supplies were very low. Ice caused widespread damage to trees. Fieldwork was halted due to weather, but producers hope the moisture will help fields for upcoming planting. Temperatures were not low enough long enough to damage wheat and oats.

      ROLLING PLAINS - Winter weather brought freezing temperatures, ice, sleet, and rain. Fieldwork halted. Precipitation varied widely with most areas reporting very little accumulation up to 2 inches. The moisture was expected to benefit wheat, which was mostly poor to good with some excellent fields reported. Stocker cattle were still struggling to maintain good health following inconsistent temperatures and weather. Hay supplies were extremely short in some areas, and livestock received heavy amounts of supplemental feed during the winter weather. Some producers were expecting to turn cattle out on wheat soon.

      COASTAL BEND - Most of the reporting area received rainfall ranging from scattered heavy showers to light drizzle. Soil moisture improved significantly with wet conditions delaying most field activity. Producers prepared for planting where they could, with some taking in seed corn for planting, which should begin once fields dry. There were some signs of greening in pastures and mesquite trees starting to leaf out. Winter pastures were producing well. Winter annuals and some warm-season grasses were growing and being grazed. Some producers were feeding hay and protein on a regular basis. Warmer sunny days were expected to improve pasture conditions. Livestock remained in fair to good condition despite the recent cold weather. Cattle prices were steady to higher.

      EAST - Days of continuous rain and freezing rain saturated pastures and hay meadows. Some areas were left with standing water. One county reported up to 9 inches of rain and flooding. Ponds and creeks were full. Pasture and rangeland conditions were poor to fair. Subsoil and topsoil conditions were surplus. Temperatures were very cold. Warmer weather before the freeze caused some trees and warm-season grasses to break dormancy. Freezing temperatures were expected to set back green-up. Livestock were in fair condition with supplemental feeding. Hay supplies continued to run very low. 

      SOUTH PLAINS - Subsoil and topsoil moisture levels improved due to the recent winter mix. Producers were prepping for the current crop year. Cattle were in good condition.

      PANHANDLE - Soil moisture was very short to short. The moisture received from the recent snow was minimal. Farming activity was at a minimum with some spring pre-plant preparations and fallow tillage. Moisture was needed for spring plantings. Rangeland and pasture conditions were very poor to poor. Cattle diets on rangeland were being supplemented.  

      NORTH - Soil moisture was short to adequate across the district. Temperatures dropped and rain, snow and sleet delivered moisture. Wheat looked fair to good after the cold temperatures. Producers were preparing for spring planting. Hay was in short supply. Livestock experienced some body condition loss due to low-quality hay. Spring calving was underway.

      WEST CENTRAL - The district reported sleet, snow and temperatures below freezing for more than three days. Wheat continued to look good, and pastures continued to green up. Oats were brown and did not appear to be recovering from cold weather in December. Local sale barns closed due to the ice storm. Ranchers struggled to feed livestock due to the ice and slick roads.

      SOUTHEAST - Counties received up to 4 inches of moisture, and water was standing in many fields. Conditions were icy some days. Livestock were in good condition and continued to receive supplemental hay and feed. Livestock markets reported lower sale volumes and softer calf prices. Packer cow and bull prices were up slightly. Rangeland and pasture conditions were fair, and winter forages looked good. Most fields and pastures were soggy. Ponds and bayous were full. Rains were expected to possibly delay rice planting. 

      SOUTHWEST - Temperatures were colder and trace amounts to half an inch of wintery mix was reported. Winter storm damage from heavy ice was limited to trees, downed power lines and occasional lane blockages. Irrigated wheat and oat crops continued to look good. The moisture should help spring planting. Cattle prices were steady at sale barns. Producers provided heavy rations of supplemental feed for both livestock and wildlife. Gardeners were preparing for spring planting. Warmer temperatures were in the forecast.

      SOUTH - Soil moisture levels ranged from very short to adequate. Conditions were cold and wet. Areas received trace amounts of rain up to 1.3 inches. Temperatures remained above freezing. The moisture was expected to help rangeland and pasture conditions. Supplemental feeding continued for livestock. Some pastures looked overgrazed, and producers were culling their herds. Livestock markets remained steady. Ranchers reported sick and weak calves as well as several deaths. Irrigated winter wheat and oats looked fair to good, and dryland winter forages were in poor to good shape. Fields were being prepared for spring planting. Native black bush was blooming. Overall, rangeland and pasture conditions were very poor to fair. Feed prices were high, and hay supplies were tight with most hay producers sold out of bales. Spinach and other winter vegetables were in good condition. Temperatures were rising after the cold front. Winter vegetable, citrus and sugarcane harvests continued. Some farmers began planting corn and sunflowers with grain sorghum expected to follow. Irrigation allocations were a concern for producers.



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