Rain great for crops...and weeds...and pests
Wednesday, June 11, 2014 11:40 AM
After several years of parched ground, Mother Nature let loose with several inches of rain in recent weeks, reminding local residents what playa lakes and roadside puddles look like.
A second wet system moved over the area Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, dropping as much as four inches of rain over some parts of Terry County and about two inches inside the city.
That is on top of the three to six inches from a system last week.
Meadow Co-op Gin has recorded almost 10 full inches of rain since the start of June, with six inches last week and more than three in the latest wet spell.
Terry County Gin reported 2.2 inches after the weekend with some growers reporting as much as four inches on land near Union.
West Gin measured 2.5 inches inside the city, while Southwest Cotton Growers in Wellman saw right at two inches.
Some small hail was reported in easter portions of the county, but damage reports were unavailable at press time.
Heavier rainfall was received across vast stretches of the Texas Panhandle, including over the watershed of Lake Meredith near Borger.
The lake had risen more than a foot from Monday morning to Tuesday morning as runoff made its way into the reservoir.
The lake’s current depth Tuesday morning was at 36.12 feet, a far cry from its record depth of more than 100 feet, but still better than its record low of 26 feet less than a year ago.
Severe weather warnings were plentiful over the weekend and some wind damage was reported around the county, including a few downed trees in the city.
The wet weather is good news for area farmers as planting is largely complete, according to Scott Russell, former Terry County AgriLife Extension Agent.
“It’s going to help considerably in the short term,” he said. “But there was so little sub-surface moisture that it won’t last long.”
Russell also said the rains will result in increased weeds and possible encroachment by thrips.
“The thrips will grow with the weeds in bar ditches and untended fields and then could migrate into the cotton,” he said. “Farmers will need to keep a close eye on their plants until they reach four true leaves to be sure there isn’t thrip damage.”
Farmers are busy this week with sand fighting, to break the crust and bring larger clods to the surface to allow small plants to break through and hold down blowing sand.